The geomorphology and biology of a submarine canyon system incising Ireland’s shelf edge in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean

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D. O’Sullivan, Y. Leahy, J. Guinan, R. Ross, F. Sacchetti, Kerry Howell, David Lyons, Leonie O’Dowd,
Chapter 47 - The geomorphology and biology of a submarine canyon system incising Ireland’s shelf edge in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean,
Editor(s): Peter T. Harris, Elaine Baker,
Seafloor Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat (Second Edition),
Elsevier,
2020,
Pages 783-792,
ISBN 9780128149607,
https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-814960-7.00047-6.
(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128149607000476)
Abstract: This case study presents preliminary findings of an extensive offshore reef survey, funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Marine Biodiversity Scheme, along Ireland’s Northwest continental margin. The 2017 study focuses on one specific canyon system, and its biological habitats in relation to geomorphic features. The survey is primarily concerned with identifying geogenic and biogenic reefs and associated biological communities. High-definition video footage was acquired using a remotely operated underwater vehicle. We present five separate transects from within a previously undescribed canyon system with little anthropogenic interference. The video data identifies biologically sensitive, reef-forming, cold-water coral species at numerous locations. Typical fauna include anemones, sponges, crustaceans, corals, echinoderms, elasmobranchs, flatfish, and deep-sea fish such as the orange roughy. The findings will contribute to the provision of conservation objectives as established by the Government of Ireland’s National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Keywords: Geogenic; biogenic reef; cold-water coral; seabed geomorphology; benthic habitat; northeast Atlantic; ROV