Coral reefs in turbid waters - ICRS, Bali, Oct. 2000.

Piers Larcombe Piers.Larcombe at
Mon Feb 14 00:04:28 EST 2000

Hi coral listers,

At the forthcoming International Coral Reef Symposium CRS in Bali, there
will be a mini-symposium of coral reefs in turbid waters. 

The brief for the mini-symposium is below.  I'd be grateful to hear from
you if you are interested in contributing to this session.

I'd also appreciate if you brought it to the attention of any colleagues
you think might be interested. 

If you're not sure whether your work might fit in this mini-symposium,
please ask.  Email me at: piers.larcombe at

Many thanks,


Dr Piers Larcombe         ARC Australian Research Fellow
piers.larcombe at
Tel.  +61 7 47815056                Fax. +61 7 47251501
Marine Geophysical Laboratory,  School of Earth Sciences
James Cook University,   Townsville,   4811    Australia

Coral reefs in turbid environments: geological and ecological significance

Dr Piers Larcombe

Marine Geophysical Laboratory, School of Earth Sciences,
James Cook University, Townsville 4811, Australia

This symposium aims to bring together a broad range of researchers working
on coral reefs in turbid waters, in order to obtain an integrated picture
of the geological and ecological significance of such systems.

Turbidity at coral reefs may have an external source (eg. river outflow)
or may be generated in-situ (eg. resuspension) and may be highly variable
in space and time.  Reefs in nearshore environments are generally those
subject to the greatest variation in many physical environmental
parameters (eg. waves, turbidity) and are most related to coastal point or
line-sources of runoff and associated dissolved and particulate matter.
Studies which document the oceanographic and sediment transport regimes at
reefs in nearshore and other turbid environments are of particular value.

The persistence of coral reefs is ultimately dependent upon the ability of
individual colonies to survive, so shorter timescale studies are also
important.  In terms of coral physiology, durations of a few hours are
perhaps the most relevant, because longer exposure to environmental
factors such as high turbidity and sedimentation may induce critical
stresses.  A particularly pressing issue is thus to document the
physiological response of corals to oceanographic and sedimentary
processes in field situations.

Many modern reefs survive in close association with fine sediments and
turbid water, and the geological record provides many examples where coral
reef deposits are closely associated with fine-grained sedimentary rocks.
Whilst a good first-order understanding of the controls of reef evolution
exists, the key attributes which can be used as indicators of present and
ancient environmental changes at reefs require further study.  Knowledge
is particularly required at timescales of centuries to millennia, related
to sea-level changes and the vertical and lateral migration of coral reefs
and associated sediments on continental shelves.  

Thus, papers are particularly invited on, but not restricted to:

 Sediment transport and accumulation
 Sedimentary setting
 Species assemblages
 Coral physiology
 Geological evolution
 Geological and ecological significance

Papers reporting on field studies are particularly welcome, but laboratory
studies which cast light on these systems are also invited.


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