Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-162
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-162
 
14 Jan 2022
14 Jan 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

A 300,000 year record of cold-water coral mound build-up at the East Melilla Coral Province (SE Alboran Sea, western Mediterranean)

Robin Fentimen1,a, Eline Feenstra1, Andres Rüggeberg1, Efraim Hall1, Valentin Rime1, Torsten Vennemann2, Irka Hajdas3, Antonietta Rosso4, David Van Rooij5, Thierry Adatte2, Hendrik Vogel6, Norbert Frank7, and Anneleen Foubert1 Robin Fentimen et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, CH-1700, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, CH-1015, Switzerland
  • 3Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Zürich, Zürich, CH-8093, Switzerland
  • 4Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, 95128, Italy
  • 5Department of Geology, Ghent University, Ghent, 9000, Belgium
  • 6Institute of Geological Sciences and Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, CH-13 3012, Switzerland
  • 7Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, D-69120, Germany
  • apresent address: ENS de Lyon, 15 parvis René Descartes, BP 7000, 69342 Lyon Cedex 07, France

Abstract. This study provides a detailed reconstruction of cold-water coral mound build-up within the East Melilla Coral Province (Southeast Alboran Sea) over the last 300 ky. Based on benthic foraminiferal assemblages, macrofaunal quantification, grain size analysis, sediment geochemistry, and foraminiferal stable isotope compositions, a reconstruction of environmental conditions having prevailed in the region is proposed. The variations in planktonic and benthic δ18O values indicate that cold-water coral mound build-up follows and records global climate variability. In contrast to northeast Atlantic counterparts, coral mound build-up in the southeast Alboran Sea occurs during glacial as well as during interglacial periods and at very low aggradation rates (between 1 and 10 cm.ky−1). Environmental conditions during glacial periods, particularly during the Last Glacial Maximum, appear to better suit the ecological requirements of the erect cheilostome bryozoan Buskea dichotoma. We propose that Buskea dichotoma has an important role in the build-up of cold-water coral mounds at the East Melilla Coral Province during glacial periods. Benthic foraminiferal assemblages suggest that important terrestrial input favoured cold-water coral proliferation during interglacial periods. The existence of strong Alboran Gyres during interglacial periods, promoting mixing between surface and intermediate water masses and bottom water turbulence, was possibly beneficial for cold-water coral development. Conversely, benthic foraminiferal assemblages indicate that the seafloor received less organic matter during glacial periods. Overall, the arid continental conditions combined to more stratified water masses resulted in limited coral proliferation during glacial times.

Robin Fentimen et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2021-162', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 Feb 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Robin Fentimen, 18 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on cp-2021-162', Anonymous Referee #2, 06 Apr 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Robin Fentimen, 19 Apr 2022

Robin Fentimen et al.

Robin Fentimen et al.

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Short summary
In contrast to northeast Atlantic counterparts, coral mound build-up in the southeast Alboran Sea occurs during glacial as well as during interglacial periods and at very low aggradation rates (between 1 and 10 cm.ky−1). Interglacial benthic foraminiferal assemblages composition highlight the paramount importance of enhanced terrestrial input as a trigger for cold-water coral mound build-up. Rigid erect bryozoans may play an overlooked role in coral mound build-up during glacial periods.