Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Oceanographic conditions at Richardson reef reveal new suitable habitat for cold-water corals

November 29, 2023

Cold-water corals create complex structures, but our incomplete knowledge of their niche space limits our ability to understand their distribution and therefore the impact of the ecosystem services they provide in the ocean. The Richardson reef complex consists of over 150 km of linear reef tracts within an area of 75 km2 between 700-900 m depth. This reef experiences rapid shifts in temperature, and currents approaching 1 meter per second. The reef fauna cycle and sequester carbon and regenerate nutrients that help fuel the primary productivity of the region. Newly acquired multibeam sonar mapping data and predictive models indicate that cold-water coral reefs are more widespread than previously understood, necessitating a re-evaluation of the ecosystem services they provide to the global ocean on which our society relies.

Publication Year 2023
Title Oceanographic conditions at Richardson reef reveal new suitable habitat for cold-water corals
DOI 10.5066/P9PDH0OR
Authors Erik E. Cordes, Amanda W Demopoulos, Andrew J Davies, Ryan Gasbarro, Alexandria C Rhoads, Elizabeth Lobecker, Derek Sowers, Jason Chaytor, Cheryl Morrison, Alexis M. Weinnig, Sandra Brooke, Jay J Lunden, Furu Mienis, Samantha B Joye, Andrea M Quattrini, Tracey T Sutton, Catherine S McFadden, Jill R Bourque, Jennifer P McClain Counts, Brian D Andrews, Peter J Etnoyer, Gary A Wolff, Bernie B Bernard, James M Brooks, Michael K Rasser, Caitlin Adams
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Wetland and Aquatic Research Center