© 2018 BY JULIA REECE.  LAST UPDATED NOVEMBER 2019.

MICROFOSSILS AND THEIR POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR SUBMARINE SLOPE FAILURE

The goal of this study is to investigate the threshold microfossil content at which the microfabric significantly changes during compression and the stress at which foraminifera chambers start to break. Microfossil-rich sediments are known to initially not consolidate to as low porosities as other marine clays owing to microfossil shells acting as structural components. Here, we uniformly mix foraminifera with natural marine mudstone and uniaxially compress them to 100 kPa using resedimentation. Petrographic imaging and scanning electron microscopy is used to analyze the microstructural changes. This study has large implications for submarine slope failure due to the possible sudden expulsion of water causing a pore pressure increase, which may destabilize continental slopes, and cause a hazard for coastal communities and offshore infrastructure.