Terrigenous sedimentation and coral reef growth: A conceptual framework

Ken J. Woolfe, Piers Larcombe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


The role of terrigenous (and non-framework carbonate) sedimentation has not been prominent in models of coral reef growth and evolution. We derive and discuss a semi-quantitative model which relates coral reef growth to sedimentation. The model is independent of coral biology and is based upon the relative net rates of framework and non-framework sediment accumulation and/or removal. The model might enable some forecasting of long-term responses to changes in sedimentation regime and other environmental factors. The occurrence of turbid-zone reefs is successfully explained in regions of very high turbidity but with little or no net sediment accumulation. Potential future use of the model may include aiding prediction of the effects of other geological and oceanographic factors on the growth or demise of coralline communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-345
Number of pages15
JournalMarine Geology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes


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