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Submarine sedimentary bedforms and benthos surrounding the Heard and McDonald Islands World Heritage Site


Watson, SJ and Lucieer, V and Whittaker, J and Fox, JM and Hill, N and Coffin, MF, Submarine sedimentary bedforms and benthos surrounding the Heard and McDonald Islands World Heritage Site, Seafloor Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat, Elsevier Science, P Harris and E Baker (ed), Sydney, pp. 705-720. ISBN 9780128149607 (2020) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2020 Elsevier Inc.

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We present highlights of the first multibeam and bottom sampling survey surrounding the UNESCO World Heritage listed Heard and McDonald Islands (HIMI), conducted in the HIMI Marine Reserve InnerMarine Zone. These insular shelf data reveal that persistent eastward flowing currents and retreating glaciers drive patterns of sediment distribution. Sedimentary bedform directionality, corroborated by drifter data, suggest that the prevailing energy in this region dominates from west to east, and is deflected in an anticlockwise direction around Heard Island, causing sediment deposition to be concentrated on the eastern (downcurrent) side of the islands. Sediment bedform morphology likely mirrors the eastward flowing Antarctic Circumpolar Current and oscillating east!west tidal currents. Thick sediment accumulations north of Heard Island may be related to deglaciation since the Last Glacial Maximum.

Sample sites on the northern down-current side of Heard Islands and on the western up-current side of the McDonald Islands contain a diverse range of taxonomic groups compared to all other sample sites. Benthic specimens obtained in rock dredges and sediment grabs show a range of invertebrate species that are likely endemic to the HIMI region.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Kerguelen, sedimentary bedforms, sub-Antarctic, glacial retreat, invertebrate communities, shallow marine, World Heritage site
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Stratigraphy (incl. biostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy and basin analysis)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Watson, SJ (Ms Sally Watson)
UTAS Author:Lucieer, V (Dr Vanessa Lucieer)
UTAS Author:Whittaker, J (Associate Professor Jo Whittaker)
UTAS Author:Fox, JM (Dr Jodi Fox)
UTAS Author:Hill, N (Dr Nicole Hill)
UTAS Author:Coffin, MF (Professor Mike Coffin)
ID Code:133932
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2019-07-16
Last Modified:2021-01-20

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