This model is the result of multi-scale acoustic investigations, based on multibeam and side-scan sonar surveys, carried out at the Santa Maria di Leuca (SML) Cold-Water Coral (CWC) province (northern Ionian Sea – eastern Mediterranean), over more than 1700 km2, between 80 m and 1400 m of water depth. Mass-wasting processes have created unique morphological forms, which have generated a major diversity for edaphic and hydrogeologic conditions. Surficial or sub-surficial mass-transport deposits have been documented by seismic and high-resolution morpho-bathymetric data and have displayed a dense aggregation of detached blocks spread over 1,200 km2. The distribution of CWC habitats has been mapped across the entire surveyed area, through the support of ROV videos and several cores and grab samples. Living Cold-Water Coral (CWC) communities populate the blocky region and form coral topped mounds. These habitats are important Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems that are exposed to human pressure in the deep sea environment.
Credits: Marine GeoLab – ULR CoNISMa Milano-Bicocca. The data were collected and analyzed in the framework of the EU FP7 project CoralFish (Ecosystem-based management of corals, fish and fisheries in the deep waters of Europe and beyond, www.eu-fp7-coralfish.net) and the national project MAGIC (Mapping Geohazard along the Italian Coasts – www.magicproject.it).
- Bargain A, Marchese F, Savini A, Taviani M, Fabri MC (2017). Santa Maria di Leuca province (Mediterranean Sea): Identification of suitable mounds for cold-water coral settlement using geomorphometric proxies and maxent methods. FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE, vol. 4, 338, ISSN: 2296-7745, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00338
- Savini A, Marchese F, Verdicchio G, Vertino A (2016). Submarine Slide Topography and the Distribution of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems: A Case Study in the Ionian Sea (Eastern Mediterranean). In Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences – 7th International Symposium. ADVANCES IN NATURAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL HAZARDS RESEARCH, vol. 41, p. 163-170, Springer, Heidelberg, ISBN: 978-3-319-20979-1, ISSN: 1878-9897, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-20979-1_16
- Savini A, Vertino A, Marchese F, Beuck L, Freiwald A (2014). Mapping cold-water coral habitats at different scales within the Northern Ionian Sea (central Mediterranean): An assessment of coral coverage and associated vulnerability. PLOS ONE, e87108, ISSN: 1932-6203, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087108
- Savini A, Corselli C (2010) High resolution bathymetry and acoustic geophysical data from Santa Maria di Leuca cold water coral province (northern Ionian Sea–Apulian continental slope). Deep-Sea Res II 57(5–6):326–344