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Productivity controlled cold-water coral growth periods during the last glacial off Mauritania
Eisele, M.; Frank, N.; Wienberg, C.; Hebbeln, D.; Lopéz Correa, M.; Douville, E.; Freiwald, A. (2011). Productivity controlled cold-water coral growth periods during the last glacial off Mauritania. Mar. Geol. 280(1-4): 143-149.
In: Marine Geology. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0025-3227; e-ISSN 1872-6151, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Lophelia Milne Edwards & Haime, 1849 [WoRMS]
    Marine/Coastal; Fresh water
Author keywords
    Lophelia; cold-water corals; carbonate mounds; Banda Mound Province;

Authors  Top 
  • Eisele, M.
  • Frank, N.
  • Wienberg, C.
  • Hebbeln, D., more
  • Lopéz Correa, M.
  • Douville, E.
  • Freiwald, A., more

    Cold-water corals are widely distributed along the Atlantic continental margin with varying growth patterns in relation to their specific environment. Here, we investigate the long-term development of cold-water corals that once thrived on a low-latitude (17°40'N) cold-water coral mound in the Banda Mound Province off Mauritania during the last glacial-interglacial cycle. U/Th dates obtained from 20 specimens of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa, revealed three distinct periods of coral growth during the last glacial at 65 to 57 kyr BP, 45 to 32 kyr BP and 14 kyr BP, thus comprising the cool periods of Marine Isotopic Stages (MIS) 2-4. These coral growth periods occur during periods of increased productivity in the region, emphasizing that productivity seems to be the major steering factor for coral growth off Mauritania, which is one of the major upwelling regions in the world. This pattern differs from the well studied coral mounds off Ireland, where the current regime predominantly influences the prosperity of the cold-water corals. Moreover, coral growth off Ireland takes place during rather warm interglacial and interstadial periods, whereas off Mauritania coral growth is restricted to glacial and stadial periods. However, the on-mound sedimentation patterns off Mauritania largely resemble the observations reported from the Irish mounds. The bulk of the preserved sediments derives from periods of coral growth, whereas during periods without corals hardly any net sedimentation or mound growth took place.

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