Letter | Published:

Grand Banks Earthquake of 1929 and the ‘Instantaneous’ Cable Failures

Nature volume 204, pages 674675 (14 November 1964) | Download Citation



THE Grand Banks earthquake and the associated disturbances have received attention from all students of marine geology, particularly since the publication of the classical interpretation of the submarine cable failures by Heezen and Ewing1. In their recent publication, “Grand Banks Slump”, Heezen and Drake2 have attributed the virtually instantaneous cable failures around the epicentre of the earthquake to an initial slump, triggered by the shock. In their original interpretation, Heezen and Ewing attributed the later, systematic cable failures for a period of 13 h 17 min to the action of the turbidity current dislodged by the initial shock. The cause behind the almost instantaneous failure of six cables lying 150–1,800 fathoms on the continental slope, however, remained unexplained at that time. The original authors attributed these, rather vaguely, to “initial ground motion, or almost instantaneous slumps and slides”.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    , and , Amer. J. Sci., 250, 849 (1952).

  2. 2.

    , and , Bull. Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geol., 48, 221 (1964).

  3. 3.

    , , and , Geophysics, 22, 788 (1957).

  4. 4.

    , and , Geophysics, 22, 544 (1957).

  5. 5.

    , Geophysics, 27, 240 (1962).

Download references

Author information


  1. Geological Studies Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta.



  1. Search for SUPRIYA SEN GUPTA in:

About this article

Publication history





By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.