Els Jardins Submergits de la Selva (The Underwater Gardens of la Selva)

Bionomic mapping

Els Jardins Submergits de la Selva (The Underwater Gardens of la Selva) studies the marine environment at the head of the underwater canyon of Blanes. The study focuses on the range between 30-70m deep.

Due to the large dimensions of the study area (16 km2) and the exceptional depth, not within reach of most scuba divers, Side-Scan Sonar (SSS) data have been used. These are examples of the images recorded.

  Image of an underwater cliff  

  Image of a rocky area surrounded by sand 

These data show what the sea bottom is like. They also allow us to optimise surveying points in order to have a good representation of the different landscapes within the study area.

Based on the side-scan sonar data and the in situ survey performed by technical scuba divers, it has been possible to create this bionomic map of the study area. Total surface covered: 16 km2.

  Muddy sandy sea bottom with a tubular sea cucumber (Holothuria tubulosa) 

Muddy sands

Area with muddy sand

Coastal detritic bottom with maerl

Landscape of thick sand with bits of broken shells and calcareous algae

Platform coralligenous

Group of organisms that colonise rocky areas with little illumination

Corallium rubrum

Sites where the red coral Corallium rubrum has been found

 Branches of red coral. One with the polyps open (“flowering”) and the other one close 

Eunicella singularis and Eunicella sp

Landscape dominated by the presence of white sea fans of the genus Eunicella

Large poriphera and Eunicella singularis

Landscape with outstanding large sponges and some white sea fans (Eunicella singularis)

Example of Spongia lamella. Its diameter is of 20cm

Example of Axinella polypoides. Its height is over 50cm

Paramuricea clavata sp

Rocky areas heavily colonised by the red sea fan Paramuricea clavata


This map is continuously updated with the data gathered in the dives that we keep doing within the study area. You can follow the latest news of the Project and all the dives that we are doing to collect information at the blog Els Jardins Submergits de la Selva >>