The ocean is generally depicted in an invariable blue. This is often useful to mark the land-sea limit but also to mask our lack of knowledge on the contrastingly different seabed morphology. Fortunately, scientific exploration of unfamiliar or even unexplored zones and new data processing techniques are now working spells in revealing the unknown.
Imagine the Atlantic emptied of its water and hop on-board with us…
…for a flight over the Bay of Biscay, the Channel and Western Europe!
We can clearly differentiate the 3 parts of the continental margin:
- The continental shelf corresponds to the continuation of the continent under a shallow water depth (0-20 metres);
- The continental slope is a huge step with a drop of over 4 000 metres dissected by submarine canyons hosting sedimentary deposits transported from the continental shelf, terrestrial watersheds and river basins;
- The shelf break is the accumulation zone at the foot of the continental slope and borders the abyssal plain.
The synthesis images are produced from a digital terrain model.