Faculté des sciences

The initiation of the southern central Great Barrier Reef: New multiproxy data from Pleistocene distal sediments from the Marion Plateau (NE Australia)

Dubois, Nathalie ; Kindler, Pascal ; Spezzaferri, Silvia ; Coric, Stjepan

In: Marine Geology, 2008, vol. 250, p. 223–233

Significant synchronous shifts in the chemistry, mineralogy, grain sizes and color of the sediments at 6 m below sea floor (mbsf) at ODP Site 1195 on the Marion Plateau (NE Australia) are interpreted to reflect a major regional paleoceanographic change: the initiation of the southern province of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The onset of this massive carbonate production centre nearby resulted... Plus

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    Summary
    Significant synchronous shifts in the chemistry, mineralogy, grain sizes and color of the sediments at 6 m below sea floor (mbsf) at ODP Site 1195 on the Marion Plateau (NE Australia) are interpreted to reflect a major regional paleoceanographic change: the initiation of the southern province of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The onset of this massive carbonate production centre nearby resulted primarily in increased deposition of carbonate-rich sediments of neritic origin. Both sedimentation rate and terrigenous input record a coincident decline attributed to inshore trapping of materials behind the reefs. Our best estimate places the development of reef framework in the southern part of the GBR between 560 and 670 kyr B.P., based on an age model combining magnetostratigraphic and biostratigraphic data. The proposed estimation agrees with previous studies reporting an age between 500 and 930 kyr B.P., constraining more tightly their results. However, it does not support research placing the birth of the GBR in Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 (~ 400 kyr), nor the theory of a worldwide modern barrier reef development at that time.