Underwater imagery-study of sediment and fauna for habitat characterization in mud volcanoes of the Spanish margin (Gulf of Cádiz)
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AuthorsKrutzky, C.; Rueda, J.L. (José Luis); López-González, N. (Nieves); López-Rodríguez, F.J. (Francisco José); Sánchez-Guillamón, O. (Olga); González-García, E. (Emilio); Urra, J. (Javier); Palomino, D. (Desirée); Bruque-Carmona, G. (Gerardo); Vázquez, J.T. (Juan Tomás); Fernández-Salas, L.M. (Luis Miguel); Díaz-del-Río-Español, V. (Víctor)
Habitat characterization using underwater images has been carried out in 4 mud volcanoes (Gazul, Almazán, St. Petersburg and Aveiro) and one mud volcano/diapir complex (Hespérides) located at the middle slope of the Spanish margin of the Gulf of Cádiz (360-1200m depth). A total of 126 species, mostly cnidarians, sponges, brachiopods, crustaceans and echinoderms and 19 habitats have been observed in the underwater images, including anoxic bottoms with cold seep fauna or remains (Siboglinum sp., Lucinoma asapheus, Solemya elarraichensis), bottoms with authigenic carbonates colonized by gorgonians and anthipatharians, extensive muddy bottoms with sea pens (Kophobelemnon sp., Protoptilum sp.) and bamboo corals (Isidella elongata) and cold-water coral banks (Madrepora oculata). Habitat type and distribution seem influenced by sedimentary features, presence of hard substrates with authigenic carbonates, seepage activity, depth and hydrodynamic conditions. Cold seep related species and hetero ...
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