The Enya mounds: a lost mound-drift competition

The genesis and evolution of cold-water coral banks along the Northeastern Atlantic margin is known to be influenced by several factors, among which the palaeotopography and nature of the coral settling surface, the presence of bottom currents and sediment supply. In this paper, a case study is presented of the Enya mound cluster, located in the southernmost tip of the Belgica mound province, west of Ireland. Below this mound cluster, seismic stratigraphy revealed a yet unmapped local unconformity RD1b, being part of a composite erosion event (RD1). As such, from the Late Miocene to Late Pliocene, at least two erosional events have incised the margin, ending with the final RD1a "moundbase" unconformity, acting as a base for the Enya mounds. During the Quaternary the mounds became outgrown and were covered by a mounded contourite drift. In addition, they are closely associated with a cluster of seabed pockmarks. The bottom current regime which became active since the Middle Pleistocene has certainly influenced the fate of this mound cluster. The occurrence of the pockmarks seems to be related to relatively recent fluid migration processes, however leaving an open question if any previous seepage phases were involved in the growth or initiation of the coral banks.


Cold-water coral banks, Contourite drift, Pockmarks, Unconformity, Seismic stratigraphy

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Van Rooij D., Huvenne V. A. I., Blamart D., Henriet J.-P., Wheeler A., de Haas H. (2009). The Enya mounds: a lost mound-drift competition. International Journal Of Earth Sciences. 98 (4). 849-863.,

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