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Geyer Bank

Photo credit: Clay Coleman; Source:
From: Rezak et al., 1985

Geyer Bank is a salt dome bank 192 km south of Cameron, Louisiana in the Garden Banks area. It is a north-south elongated structure rising from depths of 210 m on the north and 190 m on the south. The top of the bank is broad and relatively flat, with prominences on the north and south ends that rise to depths of less than 60 m and are separated by a saddle around 90 m depth. The bank is “ham-shaped”, the “shank” end to the north. Marine life incident at the bank includes more then 28 fish species, numerous invertebrates and coralline algae.

Geyer Bank

Location on Continental Shelf:   Outer-Shelf Bank
Coordinates:   27.85° N   93.06° W
Nearest Largest City:   Cameron, Louisiana, USA

Selected Characteristics:
Area of Coverage:   55 km2
Minimum Depth:   60 m
Maximum Depth:   210 m
Minimum Temperature:   13oC
Maximum Temperature:   30oC
Minimum Salinity:   28 ppt
Maximum Salinity:   36 ppt

Community Structure:
The community established on rock outcrops at the crest of Geyer Bank bears a substantial resemblance to those occupying outcrops at similar depths on Stetson and Sonnier Banks. Coralline algae occur as crusts and patches on the rocks and are the most important substratum producers and reef builders on Geyer Bank. Sponges are more evenly distributed and predominate on the steeper slopes and cliffs. Leafy algae are abundant locally on the outcrops, particularly on their crest. Numerous fish species frequent the outcrops, the most abundant being Yellowtail reef-fish. Where reefal structures occur, more and larger fishes congregate. Much of the rock is not occupied by epifauna, possibly because it is poorly cemented and apparently disintegrates easily. Patch reef-like structures occur on Geyer Bank from 64 to at least 98-m depth. A diverse and abundant assemblage of attached epifauna is established on the parts not covered by coralline algae. These extend downward to more than 162 m depth. Plankton is abundant at the bottom.

Geological Characterization:
Geyer Bank is a described as a shelf-edge carbonate bank located on a complex diapiric structure. The entire bank is essentially fault-bounded. It is positioned in the northeastern side of an arcuate salt diaper complex, which accounts for the uneven distribution of depths surrounding the bank. The steepest slopes, which are mostly fault scraps, are found at the northern end of the bank, gentle slopes on the east and west sides, and moderately steep slopes on the southeast and southwest. Sediments at the bottom of the bank are mostly cohesive clay.

Rezak, R., T.J. Bright and D.W. McGrail. 1985. Reefs and Banks of the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico: Their geological, biological, and physical dynamics. Wiley, New York, NY, USA, 259 p.

Additional Information:
USGS - Geyer Bank
Scuba Diving - Blazing New Trails in the Gulf of Mexico

Keywords:   Carbonate bank, Salt dome, Coralline algae, Reef fish

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