The 4D-DIAGENESIS@MOUND project aims to decipher the temporal and spatial variability of early diagenesis in carbonate mounds influenced by a shallow sulphate-methane transition zone (SMTZ).
Cold-water coral carbonate mounds are important, yet often underestimated, carbonate factories in mid- to deeper slope environments. Frontier research during the last decades in such systems led to a better understanding of carbonate systems thriving in colder and mostly deeper realms. Recent to Sub-recent (Plio-Pleistocene to Holocene) carbonate mounds localized on the European continental margins cannot be any longer neglected in the study of carbonate systems. They clearly play a major role in the dynamics of mixed siliciclastic-carbonate continental slopes.The primary (palaeo)-environmental architecture of such carbonate mounds, composed of cold-water corals embedded in hemipelagic matrix sediments, is well-characterized. However, despite proven evidences of aragonite dissolution and the precipitation of secondary solid mineral phases overprinting the primary environmental record, the spatial and temporal variability of early diagenetic and biogeochemical processes shaping the final nature and petrophysical character of mounds is until now not yet fully understood. Understanding the functioning of a carbonate mound as biogeochemical reactor, triggering early diagenetic processes in space and through time is necessary (vital) for the reliable prediction of potential late diagenetic processes and the better understanding of ancient mud mound systems. Approaching the fossil carbonate mound record, through a profound study of recent carbonate bodies is innovative and will help to better understand processes observed in the fossil mound world.