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TitoloHard- and soft-bottom thanatofacies from the Santa Maria di Leuca deep-water coral province, Mediterranean

Autori Rosso A., Vertino A., Di Geronimo I., Sanfilippo R., Sciuto F., Di Geronimo R., Violanti D., Corselli C., Taviani M., Mastrototaro F., Tursi A.

In Deep-Sea Research Part Ii-Topical Studies in Oceanography, vol. 57 pp. 360 - 379. Elsevier- Holland, 2010.

DOI 10.1016/j.dsr2.2009.08.024

Thanatofacies and the skeletonized components of the living facies, from which they originate have been studied from the Santa Maria di Leuca (SML) deep-water coral mound province. Faunal analysis was carried out by means of bottom sampling and underwater video observations, taking into account all benthic taxonomic groups, mostly corals, molluscs, serpulids, bryozoans, ostracods, foraminifers and barnacles, which permitted recognition of six different facies. These thanatofacies are easily distinguishable and appear to be largely corresponding and overlapping with related living facies. Some occur in mound areas, others in the intermound ones. They are as follows: the Framework- building Coral facies (FC), characterised by colonial corals, mostly Madrepora oculata; the Coral Rubble facies (CR), with proximal and distal aspects, characterised by large- to small-sized and densely to loosely packed coral fragments; the Solitary Coral facies (SC), dominated by different species depending on the availability and dimensions of hard exploitable surfaces; the Gryphus and Isidella facies (GI) in relatively coarse-grained bottoms; the Mollusc Mud facies (MM) and the Foraminifer Mud facies (FM) in comparably homogeneous silty bottoms. Facies distribution and spatial variability are discussed, in relation to hydrology and sea-floor topography. Furthermore, the SML facies are compared with living facies from the present-day Mediterranean and Pleistocene sediments of the same area. Data on bioclastic assemblages can serve for comparison with other recent aphotic, non-tropical carbonates.

Soggetti Coral mounds
Deep-water benthos
Bioclastic assemblages
Temperate carbonates

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