Coral Reefs

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 109–119 | Cite as

Where have all the carbonates gone? A model comparison of calcium carbonate budgets before and after the 1982–1983 El Nino at Uva Island in the eastern Pacific

  • C. M. Eakin


El Nifio related coral mortality and a subsequent increase in crustose coralline algae and sea urchins have resulted in profound changes to the coral reef ecosystem at Uva Island, Panama (Pacific coast). New data and a model are presented that analyze the CaCO3 budget of the reef. The model accounts for production by corals and coralline algae, erosion byDiadema, infauna, fish and other motile organisms, and the retention of sediments as a function of size. The 2.5 ha reef is currently eroding at an average rate of 4,800 kg/y or −0.19 kg/m2/y but there is tremendous variation among reef zones. While deposition in other zones range from +0.1 to 0.4 kg/m2/y, erosion of the seaward reef base averages about −3.65 kg/m2/y. The damselfish/algal lawn symbiosis protects portions of the reef framework, reducing net losses there by 2,000 kg/y (up to 0.33 kg/m2/y). Before the 1982-1983 El Niño, the overall reef was depositional. At that time, estimated production exceeded erosion in most zones, resulting in a net deposition of approximately 8,600 kg/y or 0.34 kg/m2/y.


Coral Reef CaCO3 Sedimentology Pacific Coast Carbonate Budget 
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 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Eakin
    • 1
  1. 1.Office of Global ProgramsNational Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationSilver SpringUSA

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