Janua Seamount

This elevation is located in the Ligurian Sea, about 35 NM South of Genoa. It is characterized by prominent steep flanks and a summit situated at 815 m depth (Würtz & Rovere, 2015). It is a well-know swordfish fishing ground and high concentration area for several cetaceans species, however, similarly to the other Ligurian Seamounts, almost no information are available for the geological setting and the benthic communities (Würtz & Rovere, 2015). No previous ROV surveys were conducted in this site.

The BioMount surveys were carried out between 815 m and 940 m depth on the top as well as along the southern flanks. Hardgrounds, heavily encrusted by Fe-Mn, embed a thick biogenic concretion of CWCs, particularly Desmophyllum dianthus, and spondylids.

These concretions are colonized by various gorgonians, antipatharians, zoanthids, and hexactinellids forming an extraordinary bathyal benthic assemblage never described before. 

Numerous decapods and bathyal fish species and sharks were spotted near the top, including Chauliodus sloaniLophius sp., Facciolella oxyrhynchaNotacanthus bonaparteHoplostethus mediterraneus, and Lepidion lepidion. Sponges and crabs are commonly observed on the biogenic sand nearby hardgrounds. Almost no fishing traces are found in this site.