Holocene sea level instability in the southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia: high-precision U–Th dating of fossil microatolls

Leonard, Nicole D., Zhao, J.-X., Welsh, K.J., Feng, Y.-X., Smithers, S.G., Pandolfi, J.M. and Clark, T.R. (2015) Holocene sea level instability in the southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia: high-precision U–Th dating of fossil microatolls. Coral Reefs, 35 2: 1-15. doi:10.1007/s00338-015-1384-x


Author Leonard, Nicole D.
Zhao, J.-X.
Welsh, K.J.
Feng, Y.-X.
Smithers, S.G.
Pandolfi, J.M.
Clark, T.R.
Title Holocene sea level instability in the southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia: high-precision U–Th dating of fossil microatolls
Journal name Coral Reefs   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0722-4028
1432-0975
Publication date 2015-12-14
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00338-015-1384-x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 35
Issue 2
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer Verlag
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Three emergent subfossil reef flats from the inshore Keppel Islands, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, were used to reconstruct relative sea level (RSL). Forty-two high-precision uranium–thorium (U–Th) dates obtained from coral microatolls and coral colonies (2σ age errors from ±8 to 37 yr) in conjunction with elevation surveys provide evidence in support of a nonlinear RSL regression throughout the Holocene. RSL was as least 0.75 m above present from ~6500 to 5500 yr before present (yr BP; where “present” is 1950). Following this highstand, two sites indicated a coeval lowering of RSL of at least 0.4 m from 5500 to 5300 yr BP which was maintained for ~200 yr. After the lowstand, RSL returned to higher levels before a 2000-yr hiatus in reef flat corals after 4600 yr BP at all three sites. A second possible RSL lowering event of ~0.3 m from ~2800 to 1600 yr BP was detected before RSL stabilised ~0.2 m above present levels by 900 yr BP. While the mechanism of the RSL instability is still uncertain, the alignment with previously reported RSL oscillations, rapid global climate changes and mid-Holocene reef “turn-off” on the GBR are discussed.
Keyword Great Barrier Reef
Holocene
Microatoll
Reef hiatus
Sea level
Uranium–thorium
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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