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Special session scheduled at the ASLO 2015 meeting in Granada (Spain)


Présentation1A special session dealing with “Canyons and their deep-sea fans: when geology meets biology” is scheduled at the ASLO 2015 meeting in Granada (Spain, 22-27 Feb 2015). The session will be chaired by 3 members of the Congolobe project (K. Olu, IFREMER-Brest; F. Baudin, UPMC; C. Rabouille, LSCE) and A. Demopoulos from USGS (USA). A total of 22 abstracts were submitted to the session with 12 from the Congolobe project.

The session will bring together scientists from different fields examining submarine canyon environments and their deep-sea fans: geologists, geochemists, ecologists, biologists and microbiologists. Our target is to examine how the interaction between geological characteristics, biogeochemical recycling of organic and inorganic matter, microbiological activity and community composition and dynamics shape canyon-associated ecosystems. Submissions of papers from canyons all around the world and from all disciplines are encouraged with approaches by observations, experiments and models.

As submarine canyons are common geological features of continental margins, they constitute major conduits of particles and organic matter from continental shelves to the deep-sea and host exceptional ecosystems. Indeed, submarine canyons are considered as hotspots for biological communities and are inhabited by a variety of ecosystems from which cold water corals are a prominent example. Deep-sea fans are associated with present or formerly active canyons, and host vast deposits of organic matter fed by turbidites, which are actively mineralized by combined biological and microbiological activities. In these canyons and deep-sea fans environments, some synergy exists between the geological features, the particulate organic matter transfer, its transformation in the sediment and the peculiar ecosystems and habitats occupying these sites. These processes and their interactions will be presented during the special session.