Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Topographic control and accumulation rate of some Holocene coral reefs: south Florida and Dry Tortugas

January 1, 1977

Core drilling and examination of underwater excavation on 6 reef sites in south Florida and Dry Tortugas revealed that underlying topography is the major factor controlling reef morphology. Carbon-14 dating on coral recovered from cores enables calculation of accumulation rates. Accumulation rates were found to range from 0.38 m/1000 years in thin Holocene reefs to as much as 4.85 m/1000 years in thicker buildups. Cementation and alteration of corals were found to be more pronounced in areas of low buildup rates than in areas of rapid accumulation rates. Acropora palmata, generally considered the major reef builder in Florida, was found to be absent in most reefs drilled. At Dry Tortugas, the more than 13-meter thick Holocene reef did not contain A. palmata. The principal reef builders in this outer reef are the same as those which built the Pleistocene Key Largo formation, long considered to be fossilized patch reef complex.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1977
Title Topographic control and accumulation rate of some Holocene coral reefs: south Florida and Dry Tortugas
DOI
Authors E.A. Shinn, J.H. Hudson, R. B. Halley, B. H. Lidz
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Series Title
Series Number
Index ID 70121477
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coastal and Marine Geology Program