Articles | Volume 20, issue 2
Research article
 | Highlight paper
15 Apr 2024
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 15 Apr 2024

Resemblance of the global depth distribution of internal-tide generation and cold-water coral occurrences

Anna-Selma van der Kaaden, Dick van Oevelen, Christian Mohn, Karline Soetaert, Max Rietkerk, Johan van de Koppel, and Theo Gerkema

Data sets

ICES Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems data portal International Council for the Exploration of the Sea

Ocean Biodiversity Information System OBIS

Video abstract

Video abstract Ocean Science Anna van der Kaaden

There have been various recent papers linking internal waves/tides with cold water coral distribution and abundance. This is the first one, to the best of our knowledge, that approaches the question from a global context. The focus on biophysical interaction means that it may be of particular interest to the broad geoscience community.
Short summary
Cold-water corals (CWCs) and tidal waves in the interior of the ocean have been connected in case studies. We demonstrate this connection globally using hydrodynamic simulations and a CWC database. Internal-tide generation shows a similar depth pattern with slope steepness and latitude as CWCs. Our results suggest that internal-tide generation can be a useful predictor of CWC habitat and that current CWC habitats might change following climate-change-related shoaling of internal-tide generation.