Florida Reef Tract

rginsburg at rsmas.miami.edu rginsburg at rsmas.miami.edu
Mon Oct 12 17:24:56 EDT 1998

 Clarifying the use of "Florida Reef Tract"

I believe T. Wayland Vaughan first used Florida Reef Tract in his 1914
paper "The Building of the Marquesas and Tortugas Atolls and a Sketch of
the Geologic History of the Florida Reef Tract" Papers from the Tortugas
Laboratory, V.5, Carnegie Inst. of Washington, 55-67.

I followed Vaughan's usage to include the entire  reef-bearing area seaward
of the Florida Keys to the seaward edge of reef development in two
published papers:  Ginsburg, Robert N., 1956, Bull. Amer. Assoc. Petroleum
Geologists, 40: 2384-2427 and Ginsburg, R.N. et al, 1963 in Hill, M.N. The
Sea, v. 3:554-582  John Wiley, New York .  In the second paper,  a diagram
indicated that the Reef Tract extended to the Florida Keys.

It has been suggested that the Florida Reef Tract is limited to those reefs
along the bank or shelf margin.  I believe this restricted usage of the
term is inappropriate given the original definitions.  In addition,
restricting the term to the bank margin reefs would omit the patch reefs
between the Keys and the bank margin which are by far the most numerous of
all Florida's reefs.

Robert N. Ginsburg
Professor of Marine Geology
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
University of Miami
4600 Rickenbacker Cswy. Miami, FL 33149
Phone: (305) 361-4875  FAX: (305) 361-4094 or 4632

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