The Geomorphology of the Great Barrier Reef: Development, Diversity and Change

Cambridge University Press
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This 2007 book reviews the history of geomorphological studies of the Great Barrier Reef and assesses the influences of sea-level change and oceanographic processes on the development of reefs over the last 10,000 years. It presents analyses of recently attained data from the Great Barrier Reef and reconstructions of the sequence of events which have led to its more recent geomorphology. The authors emphasise the importance of the geomorphological time span and its applications for present management applications. This is a valuable reference for academic researchers in geomorphology and oceanography, and will also appeal to graduate students in related fields.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
May 17, 2007
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Pages
469
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ISBN
9781139463928
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection
Science / Earth Sciences / Geography
Science / Earth Sciences / Geology
Science / Earth Sciences / Oceanography
Science / Life Sciences / Ecology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Coral reefs represent the most spectacular and diverse marine ecosystem on the planet as well as a critical source of income for millions of people. However, the combined effects of human activity have led to a rapid decline in the health of reefs worldwide, with many now facing complete destruction. Their world-wide deterioration and over-exploitation has continued and even accelerated in many areas since the publication of the first edition in 2009. At the same time, there has been a near doubling in the number of scientific papers that have been written in this short time about coral reef biology and the ability to acclimate to ocean warming and acidification. This new edition has been thoroughly revised and updated, incorporating the significant increase in knowledge gained over the last decade whilst retaining the book's focus as a concise and affordable overview of the field. The Biology of Coral Reefs provides an integrated overview of the function, physiology, ecology, and behaviour of coral reef organisms. Each chapter is enriched with a selection of 'boxes' on specific aspects written by internationally recognised experts. As with other books in the Biology of Habitats Series, the emphasis in this book is on the organisms that dominate this marine environment although pollution, conservation, climate change, and experimental aspects are also included. Indeed, particular emphasis is placed on conservation and management due to the habitat's critically endangered status. A global range of examples is employed which gives the book international relevance.
Coral reefs around the world are sustaining massive damage at an alarming rate. Geological Approaches to Coral Reef Ecology provides a uniquely historical perspective on the destruction—through both natural and human processes—of coral reef ecosystems. Chapters applying the principles of geophysics, paleontology, geochemistry, and physical and chemical oceanography supply novel insights into the workings of coral reefs, complementing real-time ecological studies and providing critical information for crafting realistic environmental policy.

By reconstructing the ecological history of coral reefs, the authors are able to evaluate whether or not recent, dramatic changes to reef ecosystems are novel events or part of a long-term trend or cycle. The contributions examine the interacting causes of change, which include hurricane damage, regional outbreaks of coral-consuming predators, disease epidemics, sea-level rise, nutrient loading, global warming and acidification of the oceans. Crucial predictions about the future of coral reefs lead to practical strategies for the successful restoration and management of reef ecosystems. Geological Approaches to Coral Reef Ecology will be of particular interest to students and professionals in ecology and marine biology, including environmental managers.

About the Editor:

Richard B. Aronson is Senior Marine Scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Dauphin Island, Alabama and Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA.

This book presents both state-of-the art knowledge from Recent coral reefs (1.8 million to a few centuries old) gained since the eighties, and introduces geologists, oceanographers and environmentalists to sedimentological and paleoecological studies of an ecosystem encompassing some of the world's richest biodiversity. Scleractinian reefs first appeared about 300 million years ago. Today coral reef systems provide some of the most sensitive gauges of environmental change, expressing the complex interplay of chemical, physical, geological and biological factors. The topics covered will include the evolutionary history of reef systems and some of the main reef builders since the Cenozoic, the effects of biological and environmental forces on the zonation of reef systems and the distribution of reef organisms and on reef community dynamics through time, changes in the geometry, anatomy and stratigraphy of reef bodies and systems in relation to changes in sea level and tectonics, the distribution patterns of sedimentary (framework or detrital) facies in relation to those of biological communities, the modes and rates of reef accretion (progradation, aggradation versus backstepping; coral growth versus reef growth), the hydrodynamic forces controlling water circulation through reef structures and their relationship to early diagenetic processes, the major diagenetic processes affecting reef bodies through time (replacement and diddolution, dolomitization, phosphatogenesis), and the record of climate change by both individual coral colonies and reef systems over the Quaternary.* state-of-the-art knowledge from Recent corals reefs
* introduction to sedimentological and paleoecological studies of an ecosystems encompassing some of the world's richest biodiversity.
* authors are internationally regarded authorities on the subject
* trustworthy information
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