Oceanographic cruise MedATolls at Cape Corse - 27/07-02/08/2014

Identification and characterization of coralligenous "atolls"
mercredi 29 octobre 2014
par  Dorian GUILLEMAIN
popularité : 12%

As part of the mission to create a marine park around the Cape Corse, members of CIGESMED participated as partners at the oceanographic mission MedAtolls that takes place in summer 2014.

Context and objectives

This project follows the CapCoral (2010 and 2011) and CoralCorse (2013) campaigns during which the research team "Coastal Ecosystems" discovered regular circular structures, not described so far, of northern of Cap Corse.
Regular circular structures can be considered as reefs built by calcareous algae referred as "coralligenous atolls" were observed between -110 m and -130 m. They are real natural monuments whose origin and dynamics have not yet been elucidated. The MedAtolls project has for objective to characterize more precisely these natural monuments to elucidate the processes behind their creation and propose management measures and adequate monitoring.

MedATolls relies on a partnership between The French Marine Protected Areas Agency, the COMEX Society and the "Coastal Ecosystems" team from the Corsica University (FRES 3041), at the origin of the discovery of these "coralligenous atolls". Other scientists belonging to the MIO? and IMBE? UMR? of the Aix-Marseille University, Ifremer and the Office of Environment Corsica are associated with this project.

Results

PNG - 78.3 ko

Two missions were carried out, Saturday 27th July and Saturday 2nd August, on board of MINIBEX boat of the COMEX Society. The underwater robot (ROV?) Super Achilles and the two-seater submarine Remora 2000 have achieved 14 dives between 110 and 140 m deep. The scientists involved were able to collect many high-resolution videos and take samples.
The exploitation of the results obtained should require several more months, but significant progress has been made during the campaign :

• Identification and precise characterization of different types of atolls encountered
• better understanding of the mechanisms a the origin of their
• inventory of principal species

The first results have been presented at an international symposium organized by the United Nations Programme for the Environment, Slovenia, at the end of October 2014.


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