Abstract

Cool-water carbonate environments may be responsible for up to one third of the carbonate sediment produced on continental shelves, and are useful modern analogues for many geologically ancient deposits. The extensive southern margin of the Australian continent is recognised as the world's largest modern example of a high energy, cool-water carbonate depositional realm. A number of studies have suggested that Quaternary sediment production here is largely influenced by oceanography, and that wave abrasion strongly limits sediment accumulation. Therefore, in this region the outer-shelf, below the storm wave base, is thought to be the focus of sediment accumulation. The inner shelf is considered a zone of active sediment production due to the proliferation of carbonate secreting organisms, although few studies have investigated sediment production or accumulation in this energetic and dynamic environment. The Recherche Archipelago, which sits at the western margin of the Great Australian Bight (GAB), was examined to better understand Quaternary shelf evolution and the importance of this type of inner shelf as a carbonate 'factory'. Surficial sediments, video, multibeam sonar data, cores and shallow seismics were collected. The present seabed of the archipelago features extensive areas where flat-lying limestones sit over the often irregular granite basement. The Pleistocene erosional surface is overlain by a coarse bivalve and rhodolith dominated gravel lag. Significantly, there are extensive Holocene deposits, up to 7 m thick, throughout the archipelago, particularly in association with granite islands. These deposits comprise cross-bedded gravelly carbonate sands dominated by fragments of calcareous algae (rhodoliths), molluscs and bryozoans. In contrast, the inshore and coast is dominated by terrigenous sediment. Seismic profiles and preserved palaeo-shoreline features suggest that slow but episodic aggradation of marine sediment has occurred on the inner shelf over successive Quaternary sea level cycles, although there are also extensive areas of non-deposition. This accumulation is partly attributable to the sheltering effect of high-relief granitic outcrops and cementation of subaerially exposed carbonate sediments.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound -33.8 East bound 122.6 West bound 121.3 South bound -35.0
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Product Type/Sub Type

dataset - External Publication - Scientific Journal Paper

Constraints

license
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence

IP Owner

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)

Author(s)

Date (publication)

2008

Product Type

dataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

Keywords

External Publication
Scientific Journal Paper
marine
sedimentology
seabed
carbonate
bathymetry
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Geographic Extent

North bound
-33.8
East bound
122.6
West bound
121.3
South bound
-35.0

Lineage

Unknown

Digital Transfer Options

onLine

Distributor

Role
distributor
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address

Metadata File Identifier

a05f7892-d009-7506-e044-00144fdd4fa6

Metadata Standard Name

ANZLIC Metadata Profile: An Australian/New Zealand Profile of AS/NZS ISO 19115:2005, Geographic information - Metadata

Metadata Standard Version

1.1

Metadata Date Stamp

2007-04-24

METADATA SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

unclassified

Metadata Contact

Role
pointOfContact
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address
Related Links
For information on acquiring this product,
please contact the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre via:

fax:
+61 2 6249 9960; or
phone:
1800 800 173 (within Australia);
 
+61 2 6249 9966 (outside Australia).

Please note that support hours are 9 am to 5 pm weekdays