By David Hopley
During the last 25 years enormous details at the geomorphological evolution of the world's greatest coral reef process, the nice Barrier Reef, has turn into to be had. This e-book experiences the heritage of geomorphological reports of the nice Barrier Reef and assesses the affects of sea-level swap and oceanographic approaches at the improvement of reefs over the past 10,000 years. It offers analyses of lately attained facts from the good Barrier Reef and reconstructions of the series of occasions that have resulted in its present geomorphology. The authors emphasise the significance of the geomorphological time span and its functions for current administration functions. it is a worthwhile reference for educational researchers in geomorphology and oceanography, and also will entice graduate scholars in comparable fields.
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Additional info for The Geomorphology of the Great Barrier Reef: Development, Diversity and Change
The confinement of reef growth near the sea surface makes them excellent indicators of gross sea-level position; the upper 30 m in which most coral reefs actively grow represents less than 1% of the mean 3729 m depth of the world’s oceans. Radiometrically dated sequences of fossil reefs at various elevations have been used to reconstruct past sea levels, most successfully at sites where reefs are tectonically uplifted at relatively constant rates. , 1980; Aharon and Chappell, 1986). At Huon, flights of up to 19 uplifted reefs rise more than 700 m above the current shoreline, pushed upwards due to their location at the point of collision between the Pacific and Indo-Australian plates (see Fig.
Elsewhere the general shape of the coastline can be closely linked to major structural features. Its general alignment is that of the ancient Tasman geosyncline whilst details such as the northern area of Princess Charlotte Bay are defined by older structures. The bay itself is the northern expression of the landward Laura Basin which is defined on its western side by the Palmerville Fault, the extension of which determines the alignment of northern Cape York. The Laura Basin is but one of a series of Tertiary basins (Benbow, 1980) which straddle the coastline or are imposed on the continental shelf including the Hillsborough Basin adjacent to the south central GBR, the Capricorn Basin of the southern GBR, which is defined on its western side by the Bunker Ridge and to the east by the Swain High, and the Halifax Basin impinging on the outermost shelf opposite Townsville (Grimes, 1980; Mutter and Karner, 1980).
However, there are large accumulations of dune materials of Pleistocene age in discrete locations along the coast. Dune cappings may raise Holocene beach ridges to a maximum of 10 m height at the exposed northern end of beaches but in a number of locations there are Pleistocene dunes rising to over 30 m height. Opposite the southernmost GBR this may not be surprising as the world’s largest (and one of the highest) sand islands, Fraser Island, has dunes up to 240 m high. Formed of sediments swept by longshore drifts from the south, Fraser Island has accumulated over several phases of the Pleistocene and its continuation across the continental shelf as Breaksea Spit is a possible contributor to the termination of the GBR in this location (see Chapter 1).