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The Southern Marion Platform (Marion Plateau, offshore NE Australia) is a drowned, isolated carbonate platform of Neogene age that was drilled during ODP Leg 194 in January–March 2001. Initial results from the Leg suggested that temperate-water carbonate production was terminated by a phase of subaerial exposure during the late Miocene, and did not resume during the ensuing Pliocene transgression. New petrographic, geochemical, isotopic and biostratigraphical data obtained from samples collected during the cruise show that the Southern Marion Platform was not subaerially exposed during the late Miocene, and further remained intermittently active during the early Pliocene. At that time, its mode of functioning was probably the reverse of that of classical, Bahamian-type, isolated platforms: sediment production occurred during sea-level lowstands and was shut off during highstands.

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