<p>Flythrough movie of Gifford Marine Park, which is located 700 km east of Brisbane, Australia. The park is situated about halfway along the Lord Howe Rise seamount chain on the western flank of the Lord Howe Rise. Seamounts along this chain formed from Miocene volcanism via a migrating magma source (“hotspot”) after the opening of the Tasman Sea. Two large, flat-topped volcanic seamounts dominate the park. Their gently sloping summits have accumulated veneers of sediment, which in places have formed fields of bedforms. Steep cliffs, debris and large mass movement scars encircle each seamount, and contrast with the lower gradient abyssal plains from which they rise. Spanning over 3 km of ocean depths, the seamounts are likely to serve multiple and important roles as breeding locations, resting areas, navigational landmarks or supplementary feeding grounds for some cetaceans (e.g. humpback whales, sperm whales). They may also act as important aggregation points for other highly migratory pelagic species. The bathymetry shown here was collected on two surveys - the first in 2007 by Geoscience Australia and the second in 2017 by Geoscience Australia in collaboration with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. The Gifford Marine Park has also been the focus of a study undertaken by the Marine Biodiversity Hub as part of the National Environmental Science Program.
<p>This research is supported by the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Marine Biodiversity Hub through Project D1.
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