Geomorphology of Coral Reefs with special reference to the Great Barrier Reef

Hopley, David, and Smithers, Scott (2019) Geomorphology of Coral Reefs with special reference to the Great Barrier Reef. In: Hutchings, Pat, Kingsford, Michael J., and Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove, (eds.) The Great Barrier Reef: biology, environment and management. CSIRO Publishing, Clayton South, VIC, Australia, pp. 9-24.

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[Extract] Coral reef geomorphology is the study of the morphological development of coral reef structures and associated landforms across a range of temporal and spatial scales. It integrates ecological, physical and geological information to understand controls on coral reef formation, morphological diversity and change – past, present and future. Coral reefs are biogenic limestone structures built by corals and other carbonate-producing organisms in shallow ropical and subtropical marine settings, where they grow upwards or towards sea level as landforms able to resist wave action. Most coral reefs have long and punctuated histories of development, comprising episodes of reef growth when global sea levels are high during interglacials interspersed with periods of emergence and erosion during the ice ages when global sea levels were up to 125 m lower. As such, many coral reefs consist of sequences of carbonate materials deposited by former reefs, with successive units separated by solutional unconformities developed when low sea levels exposed them to subaerial erosion. These limestone structures form the substrates on which many modern coral reefs now grow as relatively thin living veneers of corals and other reef organisms. The distribution, size and shape of these substrates significantly influences the geomorphology of many modern reefs.

Item ID: 63520
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-4863-0820-0
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Copyright Information: © Australian Coral Reef Society (ACRS) 2019
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2021 06:20
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3709 Physical geography and environmental geoscience > 370999 Physical geography and environmental geoscience not elsewhere classified @ 70%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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