Mass wasting is not confined to the land. Submarine mass movements are common and widespread on the continental shelves, slopes, and rises, and also in lakes. Mass movements under water, however, typically form turbidity currents, which leave large deposits of graded sand and shale. Under water, these slope failures can begin on very gentle slopes, even of < 1°. Other submarine slope failures are similar to slope failures on land.
Slides and slumps and debris flows are also common in the submarine realm. submarine deltas, deep-sea trenches, and continental slopes are common sites of submarine slumps, slides, and debris flows. Some of these are huge, covering hundreds of square miles (<500 km2). Many of the mass-wasting events that produced these deposits must have produced large tsunamis. The continental slopes are cut by many canyons, produced by submarine mass-wasting events, which carried material eroded from the continents into the deep ocean basins.
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