Video data and high-resolution multibeam bathymetry were acquired using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) on the flank of a carbonate mound (similar to 850 m depth) in the Porcupine Seabight, SW Ireland. The ROV-mounted multibeam system revealed details of bathymetry that were not resolved by ship-borne multibeam survey, but appear to be important in structuring the distribution of the cold-water corals Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata. Quantitative measures of slope, orientation, roughness and curvature were calculated from the ROV multibeam bathymetry data across a range of spatial scales. These parameters were analysed for their ecological relevance to the distribution of the corals and used in an Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) to identify the most suitable areas for coral colonisation within the extent of our ROV multibeam data. The suitability map covers an area nine times the size of the area,imaged directly by video. Cross-validation of the results with video data indicates that the predictions are reliable. This combined survey and modelling approach offers a comprehensive method for ground-truthing discrete seabed features such as mounds. It provides spatial context to high-resolution deep-water video observations and highlights the importance of bathymetric variables in influencing coral distribution. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.