The Reef Tract of Continental Southeast Florida (Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, USA)
Although South Florida coral reefs are frequently considered to be confined to the Florida Keys, a complex of relict early Holocene shelf-edge and mid-shelf reefs as well as limestone ridges extends along the continental coast of Southeast Florida (Fig. 5.1) from offshore south Miami (N25°34') northward to offshore West Palm Beach (N26°43'). This extends the distance spanned overall by reefs in SE Florida by 125 km (Fig. 5.2). The nomenclature proposed by Moyer et al. (2003) and Banks et al. (2007) identifying these structures as ridge complex and inner, middle, and outer reef will be used herein. The reefs are arranged linearly and parallel to the trend of the shoreline. They are separated by sandy sedimentary deposits of varying thicknesses that overly erosional hardground surfaces (Duane and Meisburger 1969a, b; Raymond 1972; Shinn et al. 1977; Banks et al. 2007). The reefs themselves are presently not framebuilding but are colonized by a rich tropical fauna otherwise characteristic of the West Atlantic/Caribbean reef systems.
KeywordsCoral Reef Outer Reef Stony Coral Reef Tract Broward County
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