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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/32332

Title: Postglacial Fringing-Reef to Barrier-Reef conversion on Tahiti links Darwin's reef types
Authors: Blanchon, Paul
Granados-Corea, Marian
Abbey, Elizabeth
Braga, Juan C.
Braithwaite, Colin
Kennedy, David M.
Spencer, Tom
Webster, Jody M.
Woodroffe, Colin D.
Issue Date: 2014
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.
Sponsorship: Funding was provided by CONACyT grant 104358 to PB, and Australian Research Council grant DP1094001 to JMW.
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Keywords: Geology
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/32332
ISSN: 2045-2322
Rights : Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
Citation: Blanchon, P.; et al. Postglacial Fringing-Reef to Barrier-Reef conversion on Tahiti links Darwin's reef types. Scientific Reports, 4: 4997 (2014). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/32332]
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