density current | Energy Glossary

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density current

1. n. []

An influx of rapidly moving, sediment-laden water down a slope into a larger body of water; the suspended sediment causes the current to have a higher density than the clearer water into which it flows, hence the name. Such currents can occur in lakes and oceans, in some cases as by-products of earthquakes or mass movements such as slumps. The sedimentary deposits that form as the current loses energy are called turbidites and can be preserved as Bouma sequences. Density currents are characteristic of trench slopes of convergent plate margins and continental slopes of passive margins.

Synonyms: turbidity current

See: Bouma sequencechannelconvergencelaminationpassive marginsedimentturbidite