Mapping Condor Seamount Seafloor Environment and Associated Biological Assemblages (Azores, Ne Atlantic)

Fernando Tempera, Eva Giacomello, Neil C. Mitchell, Aldino S. Campos, Andreia Braga Henriques, Igor Bashmachnikov, Ana Martins, Ana Mendonça, Telmo Morato, Ana Colaço, Filipe M. Porteiro, Diana Catarino, João T. Gonçalves, Mário A R Pinho, Eduardo J. Isidro, Ricardo S. Santos, Gui Menezes

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Seamounts are among the most common topographic features in the world ocean. Depending on their particular morphological traits, they can also be referred to as banks, knolls, guyots, mounds, or hills. Condor seamount is a linear volcano located in the Azores (northeast Atlantic), 35 km in length, 2-6 km wide, and of varied seafloor morphology. A scientific observatory devoted to research on seamount ecosystem structure and functioning has been established on Condor, secured by a temporary fishing closure. Multiple projects have contributed to this observatory by targeting the seamount with snapshots and long-term deployments of moored, satellite-based, and shipborne technologies. This chapter presents a brief characterization of the seamount's seafloor environment by focusing on the multibeam bathymetry data and a series of video, oceanographic, and fishery surveys. A classification based upon the bathymetric position index is presented to characterize the landscape composition of the seamount. Habitats of conservation importance, such as coral gardens and deep-sea sponge aggregations, are documented. A qualitative zonation of the benthic assemblages based on the video surveys is presented along with dominant fish and crustacean catch data for comparable depth strata. Understanding how deep-sea habitat-building species like corals and sponges distribute at fine scales over the complex topography of individual seamounts is therefore critical information to design usage zonation schemes. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSeafloor Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat|Seafloor Geomorphol. as Benthic Habitat
    PublisherElsevier BV
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Azores
    • Benthic zonation
    • Condor seamount
    • Habitat mapping
    • Landscape classification
    • Scientific observatory
    • Seamount geomorphology


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