A submarine canyon is a steep-sided valley cut into the sea floor of the continental slope, sometimes extending well onto the continental shelf, having nearly vertical walls, and occasionally having canyon wall heights of up to 5 km, from canyon floor to canyon rim.
The development of submarine canyons is thought to have originated through erosion by turbidity currents
About 28.5% of submarine canyons cut back into the edge of the continental shelf
About 3% of submarine canyons include shelf valleys that have cut transversely across continental shelves
At first glance, the erosion patterns of submarine canyons may appear to mimic those of river-canyons on land