We used the 3-D ocean circulation model with grid refinement ROMS-AGRIF to describe the hydrodynamic conditions at three cold-water coral provinces in the NE Atlantic (Logachev Mounds, Arc Mounds and Belgica Mounds). Modelled fields of currents, temperature and salinity were analysed for observed occurrences and presence/absence of living coral frameworks, living coral colonies within each province. The central model grid has a horizontal resolution of approximately 250 m, except for the Arc Mound region, where the resolution was increased to 150 m to account for the fine-scale mound structure. The model bathymetry was taken from highresolution INSS (Irish National Seabed Survey) seafloor mapping data. The model output of 6 hourly benthic currentsm, temperature and salinity was validated against in-situ measurements and compared with main coral assemblage patterns from in-situ CoralFISH observations. The model results confirm the intensified benthic dynamics observed at individual coral sites and provide a spatially coherent picture of the distribution and variability of oceanographic key parameters over the full extent of each coral province and beyond.
Main Research Area:
Ecosystem based management and monitoring in the deep Mediterranean and North Atlantic, 2012