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continental slope

noun, Physical Geography
a steep slope separating a continental shelf and a deep ocean basin.
Origin of continental slope
1905-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for continental slope
  • The shelf ends at a break, where the increased steepness is defined as the continental slope.
  • These landslides either originate in submarine canyons or on the continental slope.
  • From the break, the shelf descends toward the deep ocean floor in what is called the continental slope.
  • At the outer edge of the continental shelf, the land drops off sharply in what is called the continental slope.
  • The features of note are the various canyons, gullies, and channels dissecting the continental slope.
  • Also note the beautiful submarine valley heading out seaward of the continental slope onto the less-deformed oceanic plate.
  • The continental shelf extends outward to the continental slope where the deep ocean truly begins.
  • Sediments on the steep continental slope are mostly soft mud, which is finer than sediments found on the shelf.
  • At the base of the continental slope, in some areas, a smooth gently sloping apron of sediments merges into the deep-sea floor.
  • For the case shown above, the earthquake rupture occurred at the base of the continental slope in relatively deep water.
continental slope in Science
continental slope  
The sloping region between a continental shelf and a continental rise. A continental slope is typically about 20 km (12.4 mi) wide, consists of muds and silts, and is often crosscut by submarine canyons.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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