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The Darwin Mounds, N Rockall Trough: how the dynamics of a sandy contourite influenced cold-water coral growth
Huvenne, V.A.I.; Victorero Gonzales, L.; Blamart, D.; Pons-Branchu, E.; Mavrogordato, M.N.; Masson, D.G.; Lo Iacono, C.; Wynn, R.B. (2014). The Darwin Mounds, N Rockall Trough: how the dynamics of a sandy contourite influenced cold-water coral growth, in: Van Rooij, D. et al. (Ed.) Book of Abstracts. 2nd Deep-Water Circulation Congress: The Contourite Log-book. Ghent, Belgium, 10-12 September 2014. VLIZ Special Publication, 69: pp. 51-52
In: Van Rooij, D.; Rüggeberg, A. (Ed.) (2014). Book of Abstracts. 2nd Deep-Water Circulation Congress: The Contourite Log-book. Ghent, Belgium, 10-12 September 2014. VLIZ Special Publication, 69. Ghent University, Department of Geology and Soil Science/Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ): Oostende. xviii, 152 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

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Keywords
Author keywords
    Cold-water corals; Sandy contourite; Cold-water coral mound

Authors  Top 
  • Huvenne, V.A.I., more
  • Victorero Gonzales, L.
  • Blamart, D.
  • Pons-Branchu, E.
  • Mavrogordato, M.N.
  • Masson, D.G.
  • Lo Iacono, C.
  • Wynn, R.B.

Abstract
    The Darwin cold-water coral mounds in the northern Rockall Trough have often been considered potential analogues for the initial stages of giant cold-water coral mounds. However, the origin and formation mechanism of the 5m high mounds, which sit in a thin sandy contourite, have never been clear. A new set of piston cores that sampled two Darwin Mounds from top to base now provides unprecedented insight in the mound initiation and development history, in relation to the regional palaeoceanography and contourite development. Radiocarbon and U-series dating, together with CT-scanning and grainsize analysis established that the first corals started to grow in the early Holocene. Vigorous coral growth was maintained until ca. 8.8ka, after which an increased current regime caused partly reduced growth. From 3-5ka coral growth seems to have been very limited, although live coral can still be found on the mounds today. The pattern is similar to coral records found at the top of large mounds in the region, and tentatively can be linked to variations in regional circulation patterns.

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