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Acoustic detection of deep coral mounds : High-resolution acoustic technologies unveil the presence of deep-sea coral mounds in the Alboran Sea in the Western Mediterranean

AuthorsLo Iacono, Claudio CSIC ORCID; Gràcia, Eulàlia CSIC ORCID ; Dañobeitia, Juan José CSIC ORCID
Issue DateAug-2008
PublisherCompass Publications
CitationSea Technology 49(8): 35-37 (2008)
AbstractA study to predict the distribution of deep sea coral mounds in Alboran Sea in the western Mediterranean Sea focused on the benefits coming from the refinement of acoustic mapping technologies. The study observed the coral banks in isolated mounds, disposed in clusters at depths ranging from 120 to 470 meters. The position of the coral banks suggested that the steepness of the substrate, an active current circulation, and reduced sedimentary fluxes are restraining environmental factors that are suitable for their development. The study used deep-sea coral mapping techniques, including high-resolution swath bathymetry, backscatter imagery, and high-resolution seismics to observe the coral reefs. The refined features were helpful to find most effective seafloor characteristics, such as substrate hardness, and the steepness and roughness of the topography. Quantitative analysis of backscatter images were also conducted, which represented a successful advancement in refining deep sea coral mapping techniques
Description3 pages, 3 figures
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