Skip to main content
placeholder image

Postglacial Fringing-Reef to Barrier-Reef conversion on Tahiti links Darwin's reef types

Journal Article


Download full-text (Open Access)

Abstract


  • In 1842 Charles Darwin claimed that vertical growth on a subsiding foundation caused fringing reefs to transform into barrier reefs then atolls. Yet historically no transition between reef types has been discovered and they are widely considered to develop independently from antecedent foundations during glacio-eustatic sea-level rise. Here we reconstruct reef development from cores recovered by IODP Expedition 310 to Tahiti, and show that a fringing reef retreated upslope during postglacial sea-level rise and transformed into a barrier reef when it encountered a Pleistocene reef-flat platform. The reef became stranded on the platform edge, creating a lagoon that isolated it from coastal sediment and facilitated a switch to a faster-growing coral assemblage dominated by acroporids. The switch increased the reef's accretion rate, allowing it to keep pace with rising sea level, and transform into a barrier reef. This retreat mechanism not only links Darwin's reef types, but explains the re-occupation of reefs during Pleistocene glacio-eustacy.

Authors


  •   Blanchon, Paul (external author)
  •   Granados-Corea, Marian (external author)
  •   Abbey, Elizabeth (external author)
  •   Braga, Juan C. (external author)
  •   Braithwaite, Colin (external author)
  •   Kennedy, David (external author)
  •   Spencer, Tom (external author)
  •   Webster, Jody M. (external author)
  •   Woodroffe, Colin D.

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Blanchon, P., Granados-Corea, M., Abbey, E., Braga, J. C., Braithwaite, C., Kennedy, D. M., Spencer, T., Webster, J. M. & Woodroffe, C. D. (2014). Postglacial Fringing-Reef to Barrier-Reef conversion on Tahiti links Darwin's reef types. Scientific Reports, 4 1-9.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84901284752

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2800&context=smhpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1782

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 9

Volume


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • In 1842 Charles Darwin claimed that vertical growth on a subsiding foundation caused fringing reefs to transform into barrier reefs then atolls. Yet historically no transition between reef types has been discovered and they are widely considered to develop independently from antecedent foundations during glacio-eustatic sea-level rise. Here we reconstruct reef development from cores recovered by IODP Expedition 310 to Tahiti, and show that a fringing reef retreated upslope during postglacial sea-level rise and transformed into a barrier reef when it encountered a Pleistocene reef-flat platform. The reef became stranded on the platform edge, creating a lagoon that isolated it from coastal sediment and facilitated a switch to a faster-growing coral assemblage dominated by acroporids. The switch increased the reef's accretion rate, allowing it to keep pace with rising sea level, and transform into a barrier reef. This retreat mechanism not only links Darwin's reef types, but explains the re-occupation of reefs during Pleistocene glacio-eustacy.

Authors


  •   Blanchon, Paul (external author)
  •   Granados-Corea, Marian (external author)
  •   Abbey, Elizabeth (external author)
  •   Braga, Juan C. (external author)
  •   Braithwaite, Colin (external author)
  •   Kennedy, David (external author)
  •   Spencer, Tom (external author)
  •   Webster, Jody M. (external author)
  •   Woodroffe, Colin D.

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Blanchon, P., Granados-Corea, M., Abbey, E., Braga, J. C., Braithwaite, C., Kennedy, D. M., Spencer, T., Webster, J. M. & Woodroffe, C. D. (2014). Postglacial Fringing-Reef to Barrier-Reef conversion on Tahiti links Darwin's reef types. Scientific Reports, 4 1-9.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84901284752

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2800&context=smhpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1782

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 9

Volume


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom