Climate Change: impact of sea level rise on reef flat zonation and productivity

Hopley, David (2011) Climate Change: impact of sea level rise on reef flat zonation and productivity. In: Hopley, David, (ed.) Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs: structure, form and process. Encyclopedia of Earth Science . Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 210-214.

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Abstract

The impact of sea level rise on coral reef flats was one of the first considerations raised in relation to climate change and coral reefs. Most publications in the 1980s considered the impact to be a beneficial one. This was especially so in the Indo-Pacific area, where isostatic adjustments had produced a sea level at or above its present position for over 6,000 years. Many reefs are now adjusted to this level with lagoons infilled, sediments dominating the reef flat and living corals limited to shallow pools (Figure 1). Such reef flats are too shallow for at least half the tidal cycle for the transmission of waves with sufficient energy to entrain and transport all but the finest sediments. Many general references on Greenhouse effects emphasized the rejuvenation of reef tops (e.g., Henderson-Sellers and Blong, 1989) whilst others went as far as suggesting reefs could be drowned and many ecosystems eliminated (e.g., Falk and Brownlow, 1989). Some scientific assessments suggested that renewed coral growth would make reef flats aesthetically more pleasing (e.g., Hopley and Kinsey, 1988).

Item ID: 19073
Item Type: Book Chapter (Reference)
ISBN: 978-90-481-2639-2
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2012 00:01
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040601 Geomorphology and Regolith and Landscape Evolution @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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