Mesoscale biogeophysical characterization of Woolsey Mound (northern Gulf of Mexico), a new attribute of natural marine hydrocarbon seeps architecture
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Mesoscale biogeophysical characterization of Woolsey Mound (northern Gulf of Mexico), a new attribute of natural marine hydrocarbon seeps architecture

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  • Journal Title:
    Marine Geology
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  • Description:
    Located on the continental slope in 900 m of water, Woolsey Mound dominates seafloor morphology at Mississippi Canyon 118. The carbonate-hydrate mound is the site of the Gulf of Mexico Hydrates Research Consortium's seafloor observatory to investigate and monitor hydrographic, geophysical, geological, geochemical and biological processes of the hydrocarbon system, northern Gulf of Mexico. Innovative survey and monitoring systems, sensors, and tools have been developed to extract samples and data to unravel the history, character and composition of the site. Many hours of visual data have been collected to investigate benthic communities thriving at the cold seep site associated with the mound. These communities' habitats are described here, for the first time, in terms of faunal assemblage, substrate nature, and presence/absence of chemosynthetic species. Based on these factors, we grouped them into four benthic meso-habitats. We speculate that the spatial distribution of these meso-habitats is large enough to make this characteristic comparable to the geophysical response of the seismo-acoustic systems. We have tested this hypothesis carefully analyzing the relationship between benthic habitats zonation and the geophysical response of Side Scan Sonar, Chirp Subbottom, Surface Source Deep Receiver (SSDR) vertical incidence profiler and 3-D oil industry multichannel data.
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    Marine Geology, 380, 330-344
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    0025-3227
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    Accepted Manuscript
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