[Coral-List] Uplifted coral reefs

John McManus jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu
Sun May 8 19:13:21 EDT 2005

Fantastic pictures!

I have not been there, but I can suggest some things someone might look for.

Those being true fringing reefs, I would have expected the reef flats to
have been primarily covered with sand and seagrass. Extensive coral cover on
wave-protected reef flats is rare in SE Asia. The corals that would be
exposed would be those scattered clumps on the reef flat, those on the upper
2.5 m of the reef slope (outside the breakers -- often very dense), the
wave-breaking reef crest (which often has sparse coral cover but can
sometimes supports dense corals), and probably a backreef area of a few
meters width just behind the crest. Most of the corals associated with those
reefs would have been living on the outer slope, often sloping out for a
kilometer or so down to 20 or 30 meters. Thus, hopefully, most of those
would not be impacted beyond the wave and ground-shaking action.

If that coastline was inhabited, losing the reef flat could potentially be
devastating to people who would have been wading and riding rafts within the
protected reef flat areas to gather edible organisms and seaweeds to sell or
eat. Those people can rarely afford larger boats to get outside the
breakers. However, most of SE Asia is overfished by a factor of two or more,
so hopefully the recovery efforts will involve investments in something
other than fishing. 

If anyone gets out there, please let me know the real story.

[For more on reef flat fisheries and why "a factor of two or more", see my
chapter in the book "Reef Fisheries" edited by Polunin and Roberts.]


 *** Please note new phone numbers (361 now 421) ***
John W. McManus, PhD.
Professor, Marine Biology and Fisheries
Director, National Center for Caribbean Coral Reef Research (NCORE)
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL, 33149
305-421-4814, 305-421-4820,       Fax: 305-421-4910
jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Gene Shinn
Sent: Friday, May 06, 2005 4:55 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] Uplifted coral reefs

There has been much discussion on the coral-list about tsunami 
effects on coral reefs in Indonesia but how many know of the 
extensive reef areas around Sumatra that were uplifted (100 percent 
as much as 2.5 meters by the more recent earthquake?  To see a 
portion of the uplifted reefs, recently surveyed by USGS geologists, 
see the satellite images at, 


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn
email  eshinn at usgs.gov
USGS Center for Coastal Geology     |
600 4th St. South                   | voice  (727) 803-8747 x3030
St.Petersburg, FL  33701            | fax    (727) 803-2032
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