Coral Reefs, Present and Past, on the West Florida Shelf and Platform Margin

  • Albert C. Hine
  • Robert B. Halley
  • Stanley D. Locker
  • Bret D. Jarrett
  • Walter C. Jaap
  • David J. Mallinson
  • Kate T. Ciembronowicz
  • Nancy B. Ogden
  • Brian T. Donahue
  • David F. Naar
Part of the Coral Reefs of the World book series (CORW, volume 1)

In spite of the subtle, low-relief contours seen on bathymetric maps of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico (west Florida) shelf and slope (Fig. 4.1), this rim-toramp carbonate platform has and continues to support a surprisingly wide variety of coral reefs as compared to much better-known morphologically complex areas such the Great Barrier Reef. From the mid-shelf to the upper slope, light-dependent, hermatypic coral reefs have formed as a result of hard substrate availability, ideal oceanographic conditions, and sea-level fluctuations. Indeed, the west Florida slope even supports living lightindependent, ahermatypic coral reefs in ~550m water depth (Newton et al. 1987).

This paper summarizes the geomorphic variability of these different reef types, their geologic setting, and the present coral-reef biological community. The paper is organized along a virtual depth transect by presenting different reef settings and types starting from the shallower mid-shelf or mid-ramp setting, moving to the shelf edge, and then to the deeper upper slope.

Keywords

Biomass Depression Drilling Cretaceous Gravel 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert C. Hine
    • 1
  • Robert B. Halley
    • 2
  • Stanley D. Locker
    • 1
  • Bret D. Jarrett
    • 1
  • Walter C. Jaap
    • 1
  • David J. Mallinson
    • 3
  • Kate T. Ciembronowicz
    • 4
  • Nancy B. Ogden
    • 5
  • Brian T. Donahue
    • 1
  • David F. Naar
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Marine ScienceUniversity of South FloridaSt. PetersburgUSA
  2. 2.US Geological SurveySt. PetersburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of GeologyEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  4. 4.U.S. Geological Survey Center for Coastal and Wetland StudiesSt. PetersburgUSA
  5. 5.Florida Institute of OceanographySt. PetersburgUSA

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