Fringing reefs

Smithers, Scott (2011) Fringing reefs. In: Hopley, David, (ed.) Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs: structure, form and process. Encyclopedia of Earth Science . Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 430-446.

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[Extract] In the 30 plus years since Steers and Stoddart (1977) suggested that

"Of the three main types, fringing reefs are the simplest, apparently the least in need of complex explanations, and also the least studied."

There have been numerous geomorphological studies of fringing reefs, including morphostratigraphic and geochronological investigations. These studies show that although many fringing reefs are relatively thin structures of recent age, their growth and development is usually more complex than formerly recognized. Kennedy and Woodroffe (2002) provide an excellent review of geomorphological research on fringing reefs that summarizes this complexity. The proliferation of fringing reef research since the late 1970s occurred partly because they are the most common type of reef (more than 50% of the total reef area globally – Hopley, 2004), and they are relatively easy reefs to access compared to those offshore, but another significant motivation has been their perceived vulnerability to threats associated with land-based human activities (see Nutrient Pollution/Eutrophication). In recent years, this interest has intensified as many fringing reefs are reportedly in decline, even on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) – the world's best protected reef ecosystem (e.g., McCulloch et al., 2003; Fabricius, 2005; Wilkinson, 2008) (see Great Barrier Reef : Origin, Evolution, and Modern Development).

Item ID: 19079
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-90-481-2639-2
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2012 01:57
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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