Coral Reefs

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 555–565 | Cite as

Holocene evolution of the granite based Lizard Island and MacGillivray Reef systems, Northern Great Barrier Reef

  • Siwan A. Rees
  • Bradley N. Opdyke
  • Paul A. Wilson
  • L. Keith Fifield
  • Vladimir Levchenko
Report

Abstract

Radiocarbon dating of seven drill cores from both the windward Lizard Island fringing reef and the windward and leeward margins of MacGillivray platform reef, Northern Great Barrier Reef Province, reveal the Holocene evolution of these two mid shelf coral reefs. The windward margin at Lizard Island started growing approximately 6,700 calendar years before present (cal yr BP) directly on an assumed granite basement and approached present day sea level approximately 4,000 cal yr BP. Growth of the windward margin at MacGillivray Reef was initiated by 7,600 cal yr BP and approached present day sea level by approximately 5,600 cal yr BP. The leeward margin at MacGillivray was initiated by 8,200 cal yr BP also directly on an assumed granite basement, but only approached sea level relatively recently, between 260 and 80 cal yr BP. None of the cores penetrated the Holocene-Pleistocene unconformity. The absence of Pleistocene reefal deposits, at 15 m depth in the cores from MacGillivray Reef, raises the possibility that the shelf in this region has subsided relative to modern day sea level by at least 15 m since the last interglacial [125,000 years ago (ka)].

Keywords

Lizard Island MacGillivray Reef Northern Great Barrier Reef Holocene Coral Reefs 

References

  1. Adey WH (1986) Coralline algae as indicators of sea level. In: Plassche OVD (ed) Sea level research a manual for the collection and cvaluation of data. Galliard Ltd, Norwich UK, pp 229–280Google Scholar
  2. Cabioch G, Montaggioni LF, Faure G (1995) Holocene initiation and development of New Caledonian fringing reefs, S.W. Pacific. Coral Reefs 14:131–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chappell J (1974) Geology of coral terraces, Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea: a study of quaternary tectonic movements and sea level changes. Geol Soc Am Bull 85:553–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chappell J, Chivas A, Wallensky E, Polach HA, Aharon P (1983) Holocene paleo-environmental changes, Central to North Great Barrier Reef inner zone. BMR J Aust Geol Geophys 8:223–235Google Scholar
  5. Cortes J, MacIntyre IG, Glynn PW (1994) Holocene growth history of an Eastern Pacific fringing reef, Punta Islotes, Costa Rica. Coral Reefs 13:65–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coventry RJ, Hopley D, Campbell J, Douglas I, Harvey N, Kershaw AP, Oliver J, Phipps CVG, Pye K (1980) The quaternary of Northeastern Australia. In: Henderson RA, Stephenson PJ (eds) The geology and geophysics of northeastern Australia, Geological society of Australia, Queensland Division, Brisbane, pp 375–419Google Scholar
  7. Davies PJ (1983) Reef Growth. In: Barnes DJ (eds) Perspectives on coral reefs. Australian Institute of Marine Science. B Manuke, Clouston Publishing, Canberra, ACT, Australia, pp 69–106Google Scholar
  8. Davies PJ, Hopley D (1983) Growth facies and growth rates of Holocene reef in the Great Barrier Reef. BMR J Aust Geol Geophys 8:237–251Google Scholar
  9. Davies PJ, Marshall JF (1980) A model of epi-continental reef growth. Nature 287:37–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davies PJ, Martin K (1976) Radial aragonite ooids, Lizard Island Great Barrier Reef, Queensland Australia. Geology 4:120–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Davies PJ, Montaggioni LF (1985) Reef growth and sea level change: the environmental signature. Proc 5th Int Coral Reef Congr 3:477–511Google Scholar
  12. Davies PJ, Marshall JF, Radke B (1973) Growth rate: reefs of the central and northern province. Proceedings Inaugral Great Barrier Reef Conference, Townsville. JCU Press, Townsville, Australia, pp 95–98Google Scholar
  13. Davies PJ, Marshall JF, Thom BG, Harvey N, Short AD, Martin K (1977) Reef development Great Barrier Reef. Proc 3rd Int Coral Reef Symp 2:332–337Google Scholar
  14. Davies PJ, Marshall JF, Hopley D (1985) Relationships between reef growth and sea level in the Great Barrier Reef. Proc 5th Int Coral Reef Congr 3:95–103Google Scholar
  15. Done TJ, Ayling AM, Van Woesik R (1991) Broadscale survey of impacts of Cyclone lvor on coral reefs. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Research Publication, 24:39Google Scholar
  16. Dunbar GB, Dickens GR (2003) Massive siliciclastic discharge to slopes of the Great Barrier Reef Platform during sea-level transgression: constraints from sediment cores between 15°S and 16°S latitude and possible explanations. Sediment Geol 162:141–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Flood PG (1983) Coated grains from the Great Barrier Reef. In: Peryt T (eds) Coated grains. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 561–565Google Scholar
  18. Flood PG (1984) A geological guide to the northern Great Barrier Reef. Australasian sedimentologists group field guide series, No. 1. Geological Society of Australia, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  19. Flood PG, Orme GR (1988) Mixed siliciclastic/carbonatesediments of the northern Great Barrier Reef province Australia. In: Doyle LJ, Roberts HH (eds) Carbonate–Clastic Transitions, Developments in Sedimentology 42. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 175–205Google Scholar
  20. Graham TL (1993) Geomorphological Response of continental shelf and coastal environments to the Holocene transgression—Central Great Barrier Reef. Ph.D. thesis, James Cook University, Australia, p 206Google Scholar
  21. Harvey N (1977) The identification of subsurface disconformities of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia between 14 S and 17 S, using shallow seismic refraction techniques. Proc 3rd Int Coral Reef Symp 2:45–51Google Scholar
  22. Harvey N, Davies PJ, Marshall JF (1979) Seimic refraction – a tool for studying coral reef growth. BMR J Aust Geol Geophys 4:141–147Google Scholar
  23. Heap AD, Dickens GR, Stewart LK (2001) Late Holocene clastic and carbonate sediment in Nara Inlet on the middle shelf, central Great Barrier Reef platform, Australia. Mar Geol 176:39–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hopley D (1977) The age of the outer ribbon reef surface, Great Barrier Reef, Australia: implications for hydrostatic models. Proc 3rd Int Coral Reef Symp 2:23–28Google Scholar
  25. Hopley D (1982) The geomorphology of the Great Barrier Reef: quaternary development of coral reefs. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. Hopley D (1994) Continental shelf reef systems. In: Carter RWG, Woodroffe CD (eds) Coastal evolution late quaternary shoreline morphodynamics. Cambridge University Press, pp 303–340Google Scholar
  27. Hopley D, Harvey N (1981) Radiocarbon ages and morphology of reef tops in the Great Barrier Reef between 14°39′S and 20°45′S: indicators of shelf neotectonics. Proc 4th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:523–530Google Scholar
  28. Hopley D, Solcombe AM, Muir F, Grant C (1983) Nearshore fringing reefs in north Queensland. Coral Reefs 1:151–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hopley D, Parnell KE, Isdale PJ (1989) The GBR Marine Park: dimensions and regional patterns. Austr Geogr Studies 27:47–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. International Consortium for Great Barrier Reef Drilling (2001) New constraints on the origin of the Australian Great Barrier Reef: results from an international project of deep coring. Geology 29:483–486Google Scholar
  31. Kennedy DM, Woodroffe CD (2002) Fringing reef growth and morphology: a review. Earth-Sci Rev 57:255–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kinsey DW (1979) Carbon turnover and accumulation by coral reefs. Ph.D. thesis University of Hawaii, p 248Google Scholar
  33. Larcombe P, Carter RM, Dye J, Gagan IMK, Johnson DP (1995) New evidence for episodic post-glacial sea-level rise, central Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Mar Geol 127:1–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. LIMER (Barnes DJ, Caperon J, Cox TJ, Crossland CJ, Davies PJ, Devereux M, Hamner WM, Jitts HR, Kinsey DW, Knauer GA, Lundgren JA, Olafson R, Skyring GW, Smith DF, Webb KL, Wiebe WJ) (1975) LIMER expedition 1975 metabolic processes of coral reef communities at Lizard Island, Queensland. Search 7(11–12):463–468Google Scholar
  35. Marshall JF, Davies PJ (1982) Internal structure and Holocene evolution of One Tree Reef, Southern Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 1:21–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mclean RF, Stoddart DR (1978) Reef island sediments of the northern Great Barrier Reef. Philos Trans R Soc Lond A 291:101–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Montaggioni LF (1988) Holocene reef growth history in mid-plate high volcanic islands. Proc 6th Int Coral Reef Symp 3:455–461Google Scholar
  38. Murray-Wallace CV, Belperio AP (1991) The last interglacial shoreline in Australia: a review. Quaternary Sci Rev 10:441–46lCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Neumann AC, MacIntyre IG (1985) Reef response to sea level rise: keep up, catch up or give up. Proc 5th Int Coral Reef Congr 3:105–110Google Scholar
  40. Orme GR (1983) Shallow structure and lithofacies of the northern Great Barrier Reef, In: Baker JT, Carter RM, Sammarco PW, Stark KP (eds) Proceedings Great Barrier Reef Conference, JCU Press, Townsville, pp 135–142Google Scholar
  41. Orme GR (1985) The sedimentological importance of Halimeda in the development of back reef lithofacies, northern Great Barrier Reef (Australia). Proc 5th Coral Reef Symp 5:31–37Google Scholar
  42. Orme GR, Flood PG (1977) The geological history of the Great Barrier Reef: a reappraisal of some aspects in the light of new evidence. Proc 3rd Int Coral Reef Symp 2:37–43Google Scholar
  43. Orme GR, Flood PG (1980) Sedimentation in the Great Barrier Reef Province, Adjacent Bays and Estuaries. In: Henderson RA, Stephenson PJ (eds) The geology and geophysics of northeastern Australia. Geological Society of Australia Inc, Queensland Division, pp 419–434Google Scholar
  44. Orme GR, Salama MS (1988) Form and seismic stratigraphy of Halimeda banks in part of the northern Great Barrier Reef province. Coral Reefs 6:131–137 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Orme GR, Flood PG, Sargent GEG (1978) Sedimentation trends in the lee of outer (ribbon) reefs, northern region of the Great Barrier Reef Province. Philos Trans R Soc Lond A 291:85–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Partain BR, Hopley D (1989) Morphology and development of the Cape Tribulation fringing reefs, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Technical Memorandum T.M21Google Scholar
  47. Reitner J, Neuweiler F (1995) Mud mounds: a polygenetic spectrum of fine-grained carbonate buildups. Facies 32(1–70):1–16Google Scholar
  48. Roberts HH, Wilson PA, Lugo-Fernandez A (1992) Biologic and geologic responses to physical processes: examples from modern reef systems of the Caribbean Atlantic region. Cont Shelf Res 12(7–8):809–834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Scoffin TP, Stoddart DR, Mclean RF, Flood PJ (1978) The recent development of the reefs in the northern province of the Great Barrier Reef. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 284:129–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Smithers SG, Hopley D, Parnell KE (2006) Fringing and nearshore coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef: episodic Holocene development and future prospects. J Coastal Res 22:175–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Spalding MD, Ravilious C, Green EP (2001) World atlas of coral reefs. University of California Press, Berkeley, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  52. Stoddart DR, McLean RF, Scoffin TP, Thom BG, Hopley D (1978) Evolution of reefs and islands, northern Great Barrier Reef: synthesis and interpretation. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 284:149–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Stuiver M, Reimer PJ (1993) Extended 14C data base and revised CALIB 3.0 14C age calibration programme. Radiocarbon 35(1):215–31Google Scholar
  54. Thom BG, Chappell J (1975) Holocene sea-levels relative to Australia. Search 6:90–93Google Scholar
  55. Thom BG, Roy PS (1983) Sea-level change in New South Wales over the past 15,000 years. In: Hopley D (ed) Australian sea levels in the last 15,000 years: a review. Dept Geography, James Cook University, Monograph Series, Occasional Paper No. 3 Townsville, Australia, pp 64–84Google Scholar
  56. Thom BG, Roy PS (1985) Relative sea levels and coastal sedimentation in south east Australia in the Holocene. J Sediment Petrol 55(2):257–264Google Scholar
  57. Thom BG, Orme GR, Polach HA (1978) Drilling investigation of Bewick Island. Philos Trans R Soc Lond A 291:37–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Trudgill ST (1983) Measurement of rates of erosion of reefs and reef limestones. In: Barnes DJ (ed) Perspectives on coral reefs. Australian Institute of Marine Science. B Manuke, Clouston Publishing, Canberra, ACT, Australia, pp 256–262Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siwan A. Rees
    • 1
  • Bradley N. Opdyke
    • 2
  • Paul A. Wilson
    • 1
  • L. Keith Fifield
    • 3
  • Vladimir Levchenko
    • 3
  1. 1.National Oceanography Centre, SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.Earth and Marine Sciences DepartmentAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Nuclear Physics, RSPhysSEAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations