Mid-Holocene sea-level and coral reef demise : U-Th dating of subfossil corals in Moreton Bay, Australia

Leonard, Nicole D., Welsh, Kevin J., Zhao, Jian-xin, Nothdurft, Luke D., Webb, Gregory E., Major, Josef, Feng, Yuexing, & Price, Gilbert J. (2013) Mid-Holocene sea-level and coral reef demise : U-Th dating of subfossil corals in Moreton Bay, Australia. The Holocene, 23(12), pp. 1841-1852.

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Abstract

It is increasingly apparent that sea-level data (e.g. microfossil transfer functions, dated coral microatolls and direct observations from satellite and tidal gauges) vary temporally and spatially at regional to local scales, thus limiting our ability to model future sea-level rise for many regions. Understanding sealevel response at ‘far-field’ locations at regional scales is fundamental for formulating more relevant sea-level rise susceptibility models within these regions under future global change projections. Fossil corals and reefs in particular are valuable tools for reconstructing past sea levels and possible environmental phase shifts beyond the temporal constraints of instrumental records. This study used abundant surface geochronological data based on in situ subfossil corals and precise elevation surveys to determine previous sea level in Moreton Bay, eastern Australia, a far-field site. A total of 64 U-Th dates show that relative sea level was at least 1.1 m above modern lowest astronomical tide (LAT) from at least ˜6600 cal. yr BP. Furthermore, a rapid synchronous demise in coral reef growth occurred in Moreton Bay ˜5800 cal. yr BP, coinciding with reported reef hiatus periods in other areas around the Indo-Pacific region. Evaluating past reef growth patterns and phases allows for a better interpretation of anthropogenic forcing versus natural environmental/climatic cycles that effect reef formation and demise at all scales and may allow better prediction of reef response to future global change.

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9 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 69641
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Australia, Fossil Coral, mid-Holocene, Moreton Bay, Reef Demise, Sea Level, U-Th Dating
DOI: 10.1177/0959683613508156
ISSN: 1477-0911
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 02 Apr 2014 01:53
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2014 00:47

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