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1 March 2012 Maerl-bed mapping and carbonate quantification on submerged terraces offshore the Cilento peninsula (Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy)
Alessandra Savini, Daniela Basso, Valentina Alice Bracchi, Cesare Corselli, Micla Pennetta
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Abstract

On the continental shelf off the Cilento peninsula (eastern Tyrrhenian Sea) the occurrence of more than 13 km2 of maerl beds was documented through acoustic surveys. Swath bathymetric data along with a dense grid of chirp-sonar profiles were acquired over more than 180 km2. The maerl facies was characterized on the basis of the components analysis of 32 grab samples collected at selected sites. Mapped maerl-beds are predominant on submerged terraces located at variable water depth (wd) between 42 and 52 m. This preferred distribution on submerged terraces is probably associated with relatively vigorous bottom currents generated by local circulation that hinders the deposition of terrigenous sediments. Calcareous red algae result to be the most important producers of carbonates from 40 down to 60 m wd. We calculated the coralline carbonate accumulation from the percentage cover of coralline algae (thin section mapping) × 1 cm-thick layer of sediment × measured coralline density. The total coralline cover (living plus dead) in the Cilento area is 13.96 km2, with a total 316800 tons of algal carbonate in the surface 1 cm layer, that correspond to 20430 g m-2. Living maerl is recorded at a depth of 47 m, with a live coralline cover of about 40% over a minimum area of about 1.2 km2. This live maerl has a thickness of about 1 cm and is composed mainly of unattached branches of Lithothamnion corallioides (P.L.Crouan & H.M.Crouan) P.L.Crouan & H.M.Crouan, 1867. The molluscan association of the maerl bed is dominated by characteristic species of the Coastal Detritic Biocoenosis. The production of carbonate by living coralline algae has been calculated as weight of live corallines in 1 cm-thick layer × 100 y-1 × total area-1 and corresponds to 90.8 g m-2 y-1.

© Publications Scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris.
Alessandra Savini, Daniela Basso, Valentina Alice Bracchi, Cesare Corselli, and Micla Pennetta "Maerl-bed mapping and carbonate quantification on submerged terraces offshore the Cilento peninsula (Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy)," Geodiversitas 34(1), 77-98, (1 March 2012). https://doi.org/10.5252/g2012n1a5
Received: 9 May 2011; Accepted: 1 December 2011; Published: 1 March 2012
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KEYWORDS
acoustic facies
carbonate produit par des algues corallines
Cartographie sous-marine
Cilento peninsula
coralline carbonate
distribution du maerl
faciès acoustique
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