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Biogeomorphological implications of microscale interactions between sediment geotechnics and marine benthos: a review
Murray, J.M.H.; Meadows, A.; Meadows, P.S. (2002). Biogeomorphological implications of microscale interactions between sediment geotechnics and marine benthos: a review. Geomorphology (Amst.) 47(1): 15-30. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/S0169-555X(02)00138-1
In: Geomorphology. Elsevier: Amsterdam; New York; Oxford; Tokyo. ISSN 0169-555X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Biogeomorphology; Marine; Benthos; Sediment; Geotechnics; Microscale

Authors  Top 
  • Murray, J.M.H.
  • Meadows, A.
  • Meadows, P.S.

Abstract
    At the foundations of biogeomorphological processes in the sea lie interactions between the activities of marine benthic animals and the geotechnical properties of their sedimentary environments. The potential significance of these interactions, which take place at a microscale level of millimetres to metres, for the large-scale geomorphology of the seabed has rarely been appreciated. In the context of this review, large-scale is defined as greater than 50 m to hundreds of kilometres. The present review addresses this link, drawing examples from a wide range of marine environments, including estuaries, the intertidal zone, continental shelves and slopes, and the deep sea. It firstly considers sediment stabilisation, slope failure, sediment mixing, biodeposition, sediment compaction, and hydrodynamic effects. This is followed by a consideration of two extremes of the ecological pyramid—the effects of marine meiofauna and marine vertebrates. The final section draws attention to the central role of faunal mucus and extracellular polymeric material (ECPM) in many of the microscale interactions that we describe. The implications of these microscale biological processes and features are discussed in terms of their influence on and control of the large-scale geomorphology of the seabed.

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