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


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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.