Coral Reefs

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 167–174 | Cite as

An early Holocene reef in the western Atlantic: submersible investigations of a deep relict reef off the west coast of Barbados, W.I.

  • I. G. Macintyre
  • K. Rützler
  • J. N. Norris
  • K. P. Smith
  • S. D. Cairns
  • K. E. Bucher
  • R. S. Steneck


Submersible observations and collections reveal that a probable relict reef off the west coast of Barbados has a rich cover of sponges, along with algae and scattered corals, on a substrate of algal nodules in a muddy-sand matrix. The collections provide new data on the distributions of these fauna. This relict reef is about 20 km long, has a relief of up to 10 m, and is established at a depth of 80 m. Relict shallow-water features in other areas at similar depths along with data from core holes drilled off the south coast of Barbados suggest that this reef was probably established about 12,000 years ago and existed for no more than 2,000 years, during the Holocene sea-level transgression.


Nodule Sponge Holocene West Coast Sedimentology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. G. Macintyre
    • 1
  • K. Rützler
    • 2
  • J. N. Norris
    • 3
  • K. P. Smith
    • 2
  • S. D. Cairns
    • 2
  • K. E. Bucher
    • 3
  • R. S. Steneck
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian InstitutionWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.Department of Invertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian InstitutionWashington, DCUSA
  3. 3.Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian InstitutionWashington, DCUSA
  4. 4.Darling Marine CenterUniversity of MaineWalpoleUSA

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