The Role of Framework in Modern Reefs and Its Application to Ancient Systems

Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 17)


Uniformitarianism — the principle that “the present is the key to the past” — forms the cornerstone of geologists’ efforts to unravel the prehistory of our world. When comparing modern and fossil reefs, a fundamental problem arises because the organisms that largely drive this important biological system have evolved over geological time. This has fueled a heated debate over the appropriateness of using modern reefs dominated by scleractinian corals as models for ancient ones built by stromatoporoids, sponges and a host of seemingly dissimilar organisms.


Coral Reef Great Barrier Reef Fore Reef Coralline Alga Reef Crest 
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Copyright information

© Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyOberlin CollegeOberlinUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geology and GeophysicsUniversity of New OrleansNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.North Dakota Geological SurveyBismarckUSA

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