Abstract

Multibeam sonar mapping, drill cores and underwater video data have confirmed the existence of a previously unknown reef province in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Seven reefs, comprised of coral limestone that support living corals have been mapped so far and as many as 50 other reefs may exist in the region. U/Th ages show that reef growth commenced shortly after limestone pedestals were submerged by rising sea level around 10.5 kyr BP, making them the oldest reefs known in Australia. Reef growth persisted for ~2.0 kyr but it had ceased at most locations by ~8.0 kyr BP. Measurements of reef growth rates (0.95 to 4 m kyr-1), indicate that the reefs were unable to keep pace with contemporaneous rapid sea level rise (>10 m kyr-1), which is consistent with a 'give up' reef growth history. Core samples from reef platforms demonstrate that Pleistocene limestone is exposed in depths of 27 and 30 m below present mean sea level. These depths represent regionally significant phases of reef growth during a prolonged sea level still stand. We conclude that the reefs are therefore mostly relict features, whose major phase of growth and development relates to an earlier, pre-Holocene sea level stillstand.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound -10.0 East bound 142.0 West bound 134.0 South bound -17.0
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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
geochronology
palaeogeography
continental shelf
carbonate
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Geographic Extent

North bound
-10.0
East bound
142.0
West bound
134.0
South bound
-17.0

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-d15e-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

2007-12-17

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