Patterns of sediment transport using foraminifera tracers across sand aprons on the Great Barrier Reef

Fellowes, Thomas E., Gacutan, Jordan, Harris, Daniel L., Vila-Concejo, Ana, Webster, Jody M. and Byrne, Maria (2017) Patterns of sediment transport using foraminifera tracers across sand aprons on the Great Barrier Reef. Journal of Coastal Research, 33 4: 864-873. doi:10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-16-00082.1

Author Fellowes, Thomas E.
Gacutan, Jordan
Harris, Daniel L.
Vila-Concejo, Ana
Webster, Jody M.
Byrne, Maria
Title Patterns of sediment transport using foraminifera tracers across sand aprons on the Great Barrier Reef
Journal name Journal of Coastal Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1551-5036
Publication date 2017-07-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-16-00082.1
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 33
Issue 4
Start page 864
End page 873
Total pages 10
Place of publication Coconut Creek, FL, United States
Publisher Coastal Education & Research Foundation
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Sediment dynamics exert large control over coral reef geomorphological evolution and are vital to understanding past and present geomorphic responses. Large benthic foraminifera (LBF) live in the algal reef flats, and their tests (shells) are transported post-mortem by waves and currents onto back-reef environments, including sand aprons. This study investigated the patterns of transport linking surficial and downcore sediments in samples from three sand aprons with different wave exposures at One Tree Reef on the southern Great Barrier Reef (Australia). Six LBF genera represented up to 32% of the sediments analysed. Lagoonward transport increased LBF test abrasion and sediment bulk density. Sediment grain size and LBF abundance in sediments also decreased with lagoonward transport. Sediment transport patterns indicated by LBF species used as tracer were consistent with the prominent E-SE wave environment. A novel taphofacies approach was used to describe stratigraphic layers in downcore sediments based on LBF test abrasion and abundance. Varied sediment deposition rates did not affect the LBF test abrasion signature downcore. It appears that Baculogypsina sphaerulata has been the dominant species for at least 3 ka. Tests that were deposited slowly exhibited less or the same levels of abrasion than those that were rapidly deposited. It appears that test abrasion is primarily determined by the distance travelled rather than the influence of increased age or chemical dissolution.
Keyword Large benthic foraminifera
Submerged back-reef
Sand deposit
Tracer species
Spatial modelling
Sediment size
Source to sink
Benthic foraminifera
Sediment source-to-sink transport
Coral reef
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
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Created: Mon, 13 Mar 2017, 09:04:25 EST by Daniel Harris on behalf of School of Earth and Environmental Sciences