An exceptionally large cold-water coral mound province (CMP) was recently discovered extending over 80 km along the Namibian shelf (offshore southwestern Africa) in water depths of 160–270 m. This hitherto unknown CMP comprises >2000 mounds with heights of up to 20 m and constitutes the largest CMP known from the southeastern Atlantic Ocean. Uranium-series dating revealed a short but intense pulse in mound formation during the early to mid-Holocene. Coral proliferation during this period was potentially supported by slightly enhanced dissolved oxygen concentrations compared to the present Benguela oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). The subsequent mid-Holocene strengthening of the Benguela Upwelling System and a simultaneous northward migration of the Angola-Benguela Front resulted in an intensification of the OMZ that caused the sudden local extinction of the Namibian corals and prevented their reoccurrence until today.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.