carbonate budgets

gussman_o at gussman_o at
Wed Aug 27 07:56:54 EDT 1997

Dear Coral-Listers,

I am working on Halimeda calcium carbonate budgets on Fijian reefs 
for my PhD dissertation.  Combing through the literature of 
sedimentation and carbonate production, I developed a couple of 
questions concerning carbonate budgets in general, which I hope 
one of you might answer:

1.  In bioerosion and deposit feeding activities carbonate material 
is often reduced in size (muds).  While these activities produce 
sediment and add to the reef budget initially (or at least may not 
affect it, as by deposit feeders), it is also more likely to be 
washed out during extreme (and normal?) weather conditions.

Is it generally assumed that any bioeroded material is lost to the 
system (bioerosion = loss to carbonate budget?), or is there an 
indication as to what proportion is retained within the reef?

In addition, bioerosion is thought to make substrates more prone to 
mechanical erosion.  Is there any qualitative/ quantitative data on 
this process?  The only one I found so far is in a study on 
barnacles, quoted in Orme (see below for reference).

2.  This raises the question of rates of cementation.  Are there any 
published rates of cementation of loose material, by e.g. the often 
quoted red coralline algae?  Or is it their growth rates that 
indicates cementation?

Orme (1977, in Biology and Geology of Coral Reefs, Jones and Endean 
eds., Volume 4, Geology 2; "Aspects of coral reef sedimentation" ) 
states that "enourmous blocks are quickly cemented to the reef on 
which they come to rest", which is the only (qualitative) information 
I could find.

I hope my request is appropriate for this list.  Please respond to me 
personally <gussman_o at>.  Looking forward to discussions.


Oliver Gussmann
(PhD Student)
Department of Marine Science
University of Otago
P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand
fax: +643-479-8336
oliver.gussmann at

(in Fiji until end-November at)

c/o Marine Studies Programme
University of the South Pacific
P.O. Box 1168, Suva, Fiji
fax: +679-301-490
gussman_o at

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