Terrigenous sediment-dominated reef platform infilling: an unexpected precursor to reef island formation and a test of the reef platform size island age model in the Pacific

Perry, C.T., Kench, P.S., Smithers, S.G., Riegl, B.R., Gulliver, P., and Daniells, J.J. (2017) Terrigenous sediment-dominated reef platform infilling: an unexpected precursor to reef island formation and a test of the reef platform size island age model in the Pacific. Coral Reefs, 36 (3). pp. 1013-1021.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: http://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-017-1592-7
 
1
1


Abstract

Low-lying coral reef islands are considered highly vulnerable to climate change, necessitating an improved understanding of when and why they form, and how the timing of formation varies within and among regions. Several testable models have been proposed that explain inter-regional variability as a function of sea-level history and, more recently, a reef platform size model has been proposed from the Maldives (central Indian Ocean) to explain intra-regional (intra-atoll) variability. Here we present chronostratigraphic data from Pipon Island, northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR), enabling us to test the applicability of existing regional island evolution models, and the platform size control hypothesis in a Pacific context. We show that reef platform infilling occurred rapidly (similar to 4-5 mm yr(-1)) under a "bucket-fill" type scenario. Unusually, this infilling was dominated by terrigenous sedimentation, with platform filling and subsequent reef flat formation complete by 5000 calibrated years BP (cal BP). Reef flat exposure as sea levels slowly fell post highstand facilitated a shift towards intertidal and sub aerial-dominated sedimentation. Our data suggest, however, a lag of 1500 yr before island initiation (at 3200 cal BP), i.e. later than that reported from smaller and more evolutionarily mature reef platforms in the region. Our data thus support: (1) the hypothesis that platform size acts to influence the timing of platform filling and subsequent island development at intra-regional scales; and (2) the hypothesis that the low wooded islands of the northern GBR conform to a model of island formation above an elevated reef flat under falling sea levels.

Item ID: 50284
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: coral reefs, reef islands, reef platform, Great Barrier Reef, terrigenous sedimentation
ISSN: 1432-0975
Funders: Natural Environment Research Council Radiocarbon Facility
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 07:33
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969902 Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. Climate Related) @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page