The Isla Pérez core hole (Alacran Reef, Mexico) records the thickest Holocene section (33.5 m) known from either Atlantic or Indo-Pacific reefs. The high rate of deposition of reef material—a maximum of 12m/l,000 yr—is attributed to accumulation of the open framework constructed by the rapidly growing coral Acropora cervicornis. Mineralogic and radiocarbon analyses indicate that in areas protected from frequent high-energy agitation, this fragile branching coral, which thrives in moderate to shallow water depths, is capable of constructing extensive Holocene biohermal structures having more than 15m relief.

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