Invemar
Bulletin of Marine and Coastal Research

Geomorphology of the submarine bottoms of the Corales de Profundidad Natural National Park, Colombian Caribbean Sea

David Fernando Morales Giraldo, Venus Lorena Rocha Gutiérrez, Blanca Oliva Posada Posada

Abstract


Detailed geomorphological mapping allows us to understand how the key ecological processes are influenced by the submarine relief, in addition to identifying sites of particular interest where benthic habitats develop in tropical areas such as the central Caribbean. The Corales de Profundidad Natural National Park was declared in 2013 as a Marine Protected Area in the Colombian Caribbean Sea. It is located in the Sinu Fold Belt tectonic terrain formed by the interaction between the Caribbean oceanic and the South American continental plates. The geological characteristics contribute to the understanding of the origin of the seabed geomorphology associated with different ecosystems in which deep-water corals are found. Due to their ecological importance, the benthic communities are to be conserved. The digital elevation model, developed with the bathymetric information acquired with multibeam echosounders, allowed the updating and interpretation of geomorphological units and features based on the hillshade model to visualize abrupt changes and slopes as descriptive attributes of the relief units. This work describes 16 geomorphological units based on the digital terrain model, which were associated with possible geological processes such as uplift, erosion, sedimentation and mass movements, as well as geomorphological and geological features and alignments. This information contributes to broadening the knowledge of the Colombian seabed for which little research of this type has been conducted


Keywords


Marine geomorphology, Multibeam bathymetry, Habitat mapping, Depth corals, Caribbean Sea.

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DOI: 10.25268/bimc.invemar.2017.46.2.727

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