A flight over the gouf de Capbreton (animation)

What is a gouf-type canyon?

gouf is a submarine canyon with a specific feature arrangement. (Vanney et Mougenot, 1990):

a) low-gradient logitudinal profile

b) an entrenched bed across the entire shelf

c) a deep head

d) low, sandy coast

e) a sinuous course

f) asymmetrical flanks

g) short gullies

h) slow sediment deposit into the abyssal plain 


The most well-known is the Capbreton Canyon but there are other examples: Nazaré and Setubal off the coast of Portugal, the Zaïre canyon, the Trou Sans Fond (Ivory Coast), the Vitaez in the Black Sea.

The Capbreton Canyon: New morphostructure and morphosedimentary approaches. First results of the Itsas cruise.

Pierre Cirac1, Jean-François Bourillet2, Roger Griboulard1, Alain Normand2, Thierry Mulder1

A recent cruise of the Suroı̂t using new technologies for acquisition and processing of acoustic data (very high-resolution seismic and swath mapping) associated with accurate satellite positioning, produced a new bathymetric map of the upper part of the canyon. It shows the meandering shape of the canyon and superposed polyphase terrace. This morphology is due to activity of gravity flows that occurred as soon as the Upper Eocene. Very high-resolution seismic data allowed to confirm the influence of old tectonic structures on the location and the general shape of the canyon and to show that neotectonics affecting Plio-Quaternary deposits corresponds to recurrent activity of old tectonic structures.

1 Université de Bordeaux I – Laboratoire Epoc 
2 Ifremer – Géosciences Marines

Atlas & cartes "Sur les traces des coraux d'eau froide du golfe de Gascogne - 8 cartes bathymorphologiques et géomorphologiques au 1/100 000" (2012). Éditions Quae