A snapshot of sediment dynamics on an inshore coral reef

Schlaefer, Jodie A., Tebbett, Sterling B., Bowden, Casey L., Collins, William P., Duce, Stephanie, Hemingson, Christopher R., Huertas, Victor, Mihalitsis, Michalis, Morais, Juliano, Morais, Renato A., Siqueira, Alexandre C., Streit, Robert P., Swan, Sam, Valenzuela, Jessica, and Bellwood, David R. (2022) A snapshot of sediment dynamics on an inshore coral reef. Marine Environmental Research, 181. 105763.

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Sediments are ubiquitous on coral reefs. However, studies of reef sediments have largely focused on isolated reservoirs, or processes, and rarely consider hydrodynamic drivers. We therefore provide a quantitative snapshot of sediment dynamics on a coral reef. Across a depth profile, we simultaneously examined: suspended sediments, sediment deposition and accumulation, and hydrodynamic and biological movement processes. We reveal the marked potential for the water column to deliver sediments. Currents carried 12.6 t of sediment over the 2,314 m2 study area in 6 days. Sediment traps suggested that a surprisingly high percentage of this sediment was potentially deposited (5.2%). Furthermore, wave-driven resuspension and reworking by parrotfishes separated a highly dynamic sediment regime on the shallow reef flat (3 m), from a more stagnant reef slope (4.5 m–12 m). This study provides a comprehensive model of how hydrodynamic forces and on-reef processes may shape sediment dynamics on a coral reef.

Item ID: 76380
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-0291
Keywords: Algal turf, Hydrodynamics, Parrotfish, Sediment resuspension, Sediment trap, Turbidity
Copyright Information: Published Version: © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. AAM may be made open access in an Institutional Repository under a CC BY-NC-ND license after a 24 month embargo.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC FL190100062, ARC CE140100020
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2023 01:27
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3705 Geology > 370509 Sedimentology @ 50%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3708 Oceanography > 370803 Physical oceanography @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180506 Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean) @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180501 Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems @ 50%
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