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 1: 44-53. doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2015.11.002

Author Dechnik, Belinda
Webster, Jody M.
Nothdurft, Luke
Webb, Gregory E.
Zhao, Jian-xin
Duce, Stephanie
Braga, Juan C.
Harris, Daniel L.
Vila-Concejo, Ana
Puotinen, Marji
Title Influence of hydrodynamic energy on Holocene reef flat accretion, Great Barrier Reef
Journal name Quaternary Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1096-0287
Publication date 2016-01-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.yqres.2015.11.002
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 85
Issue 1
Start page 44
End page 53
Total pages 10
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO, United States
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Subject 1201 Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
1904 Earth-Surface Processes
1900 Earth and Planetary Sciences
Abstract The response of platform reefs to sea-level stabilization over the past 6 ka is well 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 conjunction with re-analyzed data from 14 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 mid-outer 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.
Keyword Reef growth
Sea level
Great Barrier Reef
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID DP1094001
Institutional Status UQ

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