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New view of the Belgica Mounds, Porcupine Seabight, NE Atlantic: preliminary results from the Polarstern ARK-XIX/3a ROV cruise

  • Anneleen Foubert
  • Tim Beck
  • Andrew J. Wheeler
  • Jan Opderbecke
  • Anthony Grehan
  • Michael Klages
  • Jörn Thiede
  • Jean-Pierre Henriet
  • Polarstern ARK-XIX/3a Shipboard Party
Part of the Erlangen Earth Conference Series book series (ERLANGEN)

Abstract

The Belgica Mound province is one of three provinces where carbonate mounds are associated with cold-water coral species in Porcupine Seabight, west of Ireland. Building upon extensive existing datasets, the Polarstern ARK XIX/3a cruise, deploying the robotic submersible VICTOR6000 (ROV), was undertaken in June 2003. This paper presents an overview of preliminary results from a reconnaissance video survey over and between several steep-flanked Belgica Mounds (giant mounds) and from a microbathymetric survey over some smaller mounds (Moira Mounds). Visual evidence for a strong hydrodynamic regime in the vicinity of the carbonate mounds is found with the interaction between currents and sedimentation having an important role in mound growth and development. Only some mounds show a high percentage of live coral coverage although there is a clear increase of megafaunal concentrations and species on mounds. One area of the province (the eastern ridge of aligned mounds) revealed very little live coral cover, asymmetrical drift accumulations burying the eastern sides and sediment-clogged dead coral frameworks at the western sides. This is in contrast to other areas (e.g., the western alignment of mounds) that show abundant live coral cover at present. In nearly all parts of the survey area the impact of fisheries, especially demersal trawling, is noted.

Keywords

Carbonate mounds cold-water coral Porcupine Seabight ROV microbathymetry 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anneleen Foubert
    • 1
  • Tim Beck
    • 2
  • Andrew J. Wheeler
    • 3
  • Jan Opderbecke
    • 4
  • Anthony Grehan
    • 5
  • Michael Klages
    • 6
  • Jörn Thiede
    • 6
  • Jean-Pierre Henriet
    • 1
  • Polarstern ARK-XIX/3a Shipboard Party
  1. 1.Renard Centre of Marine GeologyGent UniversityGentBelgium
  2. 2.Institute of PaleontologyErlangen UniversityErlangenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Geology, Environmental Research InstituteUniversity College CorkIreland
  4. 4.IFREMER — Underwater Robotics, Navigation and Vision Department (RNV)Zone Portuaire de BrégaillonLa Seyne-sur-merFrance
  5. 5.Martin Ryan Marine Science InstituteNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland
  6. 6.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany

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