eCite Digital Repository

Distribution of Hydrocorals Along the George V Slope, East Antarctica


Post, AL and OBrien, PE and Beaman, RJ and Riddle, MJ and De Santis, L and Rintoul, SR, Distribution of Hydrocorals Along the George V Slope, East Antarctica, Seafloor Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat: GeoHAB Atlas of Seafloor Geomorphic Features and Benthic Habitats, Elsevier, Peter Harris and Elaine Baker (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 717-726. ISBN 978-0-12-385140-6 (2012) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Elsevier Inc. and Crown Copyright

DOI: doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-385140-6.00052-9


The George V margin is located in east Antarctica, in the region of the Mertz Glacier Tongue. The continental shelf break along this part of the margin occurs at an average depth of 500 m, extending to the abyssal plain below 3,500 m. Three main factors governing their distribution on this margin have been proposed: their depth in relation to iceberg scouring, the flow of organic-rich bottom waters, and their location at the head of shelf-cutting canyons. Icebergs scour to depths of 500 m in this region, and the lack of such disturbance is a likely factor allowing the growth of rich benthic ecosystems. In addition, the richest communities are found in the heads of canyons that receive descending plumes of Antarctic bottom water formed on the George V shelf, which could entrain abundant food for the benthos. The canyons harboring rich benthos are also those that cut the shelf break. Such canyons are known sites of high productivity in other areas due to strong current flow and increased mixing with shelf waters, and the abrupt, complex topography.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:hydrocorals, Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem, submarine canyons, continental slope, oceanographic processes
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Antarctic and Southern Ocean oceanic processes
UTAS Author:Rintoul, SR (Dr Steve Rintoul)
ID Code:80637
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2012-11-06
Last Modified:2017-10-16

Repository Staff Only: item control page