Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Energy & Environm, Sao Paulo, SP - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 4
DEC 10 2019.
Web of Science Citations:
Recently acquired bathymetric and high-resolution seismic data from the upper slope of Santos Basin, southern Brazilian margin, reveal a major geomorphological feature in the SW Atlantic that is interpreted as a carbonate ridge - the Alpha Crucis Carbonate Ridge (ACCR). The ACCR is the first megastructure of this type described on the SW Atlantic margin. The -17 x 11-km-wide ring-shaped ACCR features tens of >100-m-high steep-sided carbonate mounds protruding from the surrounding seabed and flanked by elongated depressions. Comet-like marks downstream of the mound structures indicate that the area is presently influenced by the northward flow of the Intermediate Western Boundary Current (IWBC), a branch of the Subtropical Gyre that transports Antarctic Intermediate Water. Abundant carbonate sands and gravels cover the mounds and are overlain by a biologically significant community of living and dead ramified corals and associated invertebrates. The IWBC acts as a hydrodynamic factor that is responsible for both shaping the bottom and transporting coral larvae. We contend that the ACCR was formed by upward fluid flow along active sub-surface faults and fractures that formed by lateral extension generated by the ascending movement of salt diapirs at depth. The ACCR provides an important modern and accessible analogue for a seabed carbonate build-up related to sub-surface hydrocarbon systems. (AU)