Influence of hydrodynamic energy on Holocene reef flat accretion, Great Barrier Reef

Dechnik, Belinda, Webster, Jody M., Nothdurft, Luke, Webb, Gregory E., Zhao, Jian-xin, Duce, Stephanie, Braga, Juan C., Harris, Daniel L., Vila-Concejo, Ana, and Puotinen, Marji (2016) Influence of hydrodynamic energy on Holocene reef flat accretion, Great Barrier Reef. Quaternary Research, 85. pp. 44-53.

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Abstract

The response of platform reefs to sea-level stabilization over the past 6 ka iswell established for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), with reefs typically accreting laterally from windward to leeward. However, these observations are based on few cores spread across reef zones and may not accurately reflect a reef's true accretional response to the Holocene stillstand. We present a new record of reef accretion based on 49 U/Th ages from Heron and One Tree reefs in conjunctionwith re-analyzed data from14 reefs across the GBR.We demonstrate that hydrodynamic energy is the main driver of accretional direction; exposed reefs accreted primarily lagoon-ward while protected reefs accreted seawards, contrary to the traditional growth model in the GBR. Lateral accretion rates varied from 86.3 m/ka–42.4 m/ka on the exposed One Tree windward reef and 68.35 m/ka–15.7 m/ka on the protected leeward Heron reef, suggesting that wind/wave energy is not a dominant control on lateral accretion rates. This represents the most comprehensive statement of lateral accretion direction and rates from the midouter platform reefs of the GBR, confirming great variability in reef flat growth both within and between reef margins over the last 6 ka, and highlighting the need for closely-spaced transects.

Item ID: 47335
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: reef growth, still-stand, sea-level, accretion, Holocene, Great Barrier Reef
ISSN: 1096-0287
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP1094001, ARC DP1096184, ARC DP120101793, ARC FT100100215
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2017 01:57
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040305 Marine Geoscience @ 60%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040308 Palaeontology (incl Palynology) @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified @ 10%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 60%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 40%
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