Carbonate mounds

English name: Carbonate mounds

Description (English)

Carbonate mounds are very steep-sided mounds of variety of shapes, which may be up to 350 m high and 2 km wide at their base (Weering et al, 2003). They occur offshore in water depths of 500 m-1100 m with examples present in the Porcupine Seabight and Rockall Trough (Kenyon et al, 2003). Carbonate mounds may have a sediment veneer, typically composed of carbonate sands, muds and silts. The cold-water reef-building corals Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata, as well as echiuran worms are characteristic fauna of carbonate mounds. Where cold-water corals (such as Lophelia) are present on the mound summit, coral debris may form a significant component of the overlying substratum.
There is currently speculation on the origin of carbonate mounds, with possible associations with fault-controlled methane seepage from deep hydrocarbon reservoirs, or gas-hydrate dissociation (Henriet et al, 1998) through to the debris from ‘cold-water’ coral colonies such as Lophelia.

Source: EUNIS habitat classification

Quick facts

EUNIS habitat type code A6.75

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Species mentioned in habitat description

Invertebrates Lophelia pertusa
Invertebrates Madrepora oculata
Species scientific name English common name Species group
Lophelia pertusa Invertebrates
Madrepora oculata Invertebrates

Other classifications

Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
CORINE Land Cover 5.2.3. Sea and ocean n/a
For relation to plant communities (syntaxa), see Vegetation types


Classification Code Habitat type name Relationship type
EUNIS Habitat Classification 200410 A6.75 Carbonate mounds same
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