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Evidence for the episodic "turn on" and "turn off" of turbid-zone coral reefs during the late Holocene sea-level highstand

C. T. Perry and S. G. Smithers
Evidence for the episodic "turn on" and "turn off" of turbid-zone coral reefs during the late Holocene sea-level highstand
Geology (Boulder) (February 2010) 38 (2): 119-122

Abstract

Terrigenous sediment accumulation within nearshore marine environments is regarded as a major factor inhibiting carbonate production and coral reef accretion. While recent ecological and geological research into reef development under long-term terrigenous sediment influence questions the overly simplistic nature of such views, understanding of the time scales of reef initiation and growth and the morphodynamics of reef accretion in these settings remains limited. Here we present evidence to support recent suggestions that, once established, rapid reef accretion and progradation is possible, but that the restricted accommodation windows in which such reefs develop often result in short-lived (ephemeral) phases of reef building. Specifically, we describe two discrete periods of reef growth within one small ( approximately 600 m wide) coastal embayment around a high island on the terrigenous sediment-dominated inner shelf of the central Great Barrier Reef, Australia. These reef-building phases occurred at either end of the Holocene sea-level highstand, the first during the late postglacial marine transgression and early highstand ( approximately 6900-4500 calibrated (cal) yr B.P.), the second following the late Holocene regression and stillstand ( approximately 1600 cal yr B.P. to present). An approximately 3000 yr hiatus occurred between these events, probably as a function of subtle changes in sea level and associated shoreline morphodynamics.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 38
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Evidence for the episodic "turn on" and "turn off" of turbid-zone coral reefs during the late Holocene sea-level highstand
Affiliation: Manchester Metropolitan University, Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Manchester, United Kingdom
Pages: 119-122
Published: 201002
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 20
Accession Number: 2010-024664
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2010024
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
S17°55'60" - S17°55'60", E146°09'00" - E146°09'00"
Secondary Affiliation: James Cook University, AUS, Australia
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201015
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