TitleThe habitats of the Chella Bank. Eastern Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean)
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsIacono CLo, Gràcia EG, Bartolomé R, Coiras E, Dañobeitia JJose, Acosta J
Book TitleSeafloor Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat: GeoHAB Atlas of Seafloor Geomorphic Features and Benthic Habitats.
ISBN Number9780123851406
KeywordsAlboran Sea, Geomorphology, Habitat mapping, Seamounts, swath bathymetry, Western Mediterranean
AbstractThis chapter provides the first characterization of the geomorphic features and benthic habitats of the Chella Bank, a flat-topped volcanic peak situated in the Eastern Alboran Sea, Western Mediterranean. The Chella Bank, also named "Seco de los Olivos," occurs along the upper slope of the Almeria Margin, showing a subcircular shape and covering a surface area of 100 km2 within a depth range of 70-700 m. High-resolution swath bathymetric mapping reveals three main large-scale morphological features on Chella Bank: the flat subhorizontal top and two main ridges, located to the west and to the east of the bank-top. Video tracks acquired in the area showed the occurrence of macrobenthic communities such as gorgonian assemblages (Callogorgia verticillata, Viminella flagellum), small patches of living cold-water corals (Madrepora oculata), and sponges (Fakelia ventilabrum). An automatic classification of multibeam data has been tested on the area as a predictive habitat mapping method, using backscatter characteristics (intensity, texture), and depth measurements as surrogate descriptors of the habitats recognized on the Chella Bank. The Chella Bank is one of the study areas of the LIFE-INDEMARES Project, which aims to contribute to the protection and sustainable use of the marine biodiversity in the Spanish seas. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.