I’m in Carvoerio, Portugal presenting work done on the EU FP7 project HERMES regarding food supply mechanisms to a coral reef. Read the abstract below:
Internal waves provide a food supply mechanism for cold-water coral reefs
Andrew J. Davies, Marc Lavaleye, Magda Bergman, J. Murray Roberts, Hans Van Haren and Gerard Duineveld
The cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa forms large biogenic reefs throughout the North Atlantic Ocean. The mechanics of food supply to these areas have been largely hypothesised, with topographical focussing of currents, breaking internal waves and retained matter above banks all put forward as potential mechanisms. However, at present, there has only been limited description of these processes from detailed in situ observations. During several HERMES cruises, numerous physical and biological observations have been made in the Mingulay Reef complex. Located between the Outer Hebridean Island chain and the Scottish Mainland, this reef complex is situated within a dynamic area with semi-diurnal tides and currents of up to 80 cm s-1. In 2006 and 2007, multiple deployments of landers, recording moorings, ship mounted ADCP and CTDs were used to record the food supply processes and the physical habitat of the L. pertusa reefs in the area. The complex topography of the area retains a solitary internal wave which breaks as direction of the tide changes. The wave drives surface productivity and warmer waters to the reef in a regular pattern. This mechanism has a strong resemblance with the theory of Frederiksen et al (1992) that coral distribution could be in areas where the bottom slope is critical to semi-diurnal internal waves.