Geomorphology of the Lord Howe Island shelf and submarine volcano: SS06-2009 post-survey report
The Lord Howe Island survey SS06-2008 in April 2008 aboard the RV Southern Surveyor was a collaboration between the University of Wollongong and Geoscience Australia. The survey was also an activity of the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities' (CERF) Marine Biodiversity Hub, of which Geoscience Australia is a partner, and will contribute to the revised Plan of Management for the Lord Howe Marine Parks. The objectives of the survey were to map the morphology and benthic environments of the shallow shelf that surrounds Lord Howe Island as well as the deeper flanks of this largely submarine volcano. Of particular interest was the apparent drowned reef structure on the shelf and the spatial distribution of seabed habitats and infauna. The data collected are required to better understand the history of reef growth at Lord Howe Island, which sits at the southernmost limit of reef formation, and links between the physical environment and ecological processes that control the spatial distribution of biodiversity on the shelf. The morphology of the flanks of the submarine volcano was also examined to reveal whether they provide evidence of major erosional and depositional processes acting on the volcano. This report provides a description of the survey activities and the results of the processing and initial analysis of the data and samples collected.