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Sedimentation and Coral Reef Development in Turbid Water: Fanning Lagoon

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Title:Sedimentation and Coral Reef Development in Turbid Water: Fanning Lagoon
Authors:Roy, K.J.
Smith, S.V.
Date Issued:Apr 1971
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Roy KJ, Smith SV. 1971. Sedimentation and coral reef development in turbid water: Fanning Lagoon. Pac Sci 25(2): 234-248.
Abstract:Lack of light and excessive sediment deposition rates are factors
limiting coral reef development. The presence of very turbid water and muddy
bottom does not mean, however, that coral growth is prohibited. Fanning Lagoon
has a turbid water area (visibility, 2 m) and a clear water area (visibility, 10 to
15 m). Both areas have a muddy bottom. Because of the shallow depth and the
light-scattering effect of the suspended CaC03, relative light intensity at the bottom
is greater than 5 percent. The cleaning mechanism of the corals is sufficient to
handle the deposition of sediment. Live corals cover 62 percent of the clear-water
area and 31 percent of the turbid. Reefs in the turbid water are ecologically different
from the ones in clear water, but they are still living reefs. Ramose corals make up
55 percent of the individuals in the turbid water and only 10 percent of those in
the clear water. This difference is reflected in the structure of the reefs; those in
clear water are massive and steep-sided, while those in the turbid water have gentler
slopes and are more open with sediment infill. Fanning Lagoon is an example of
penecontemporaneous formation of reef and intervening muddy sediment with
bathymetric relief never more than 8 m.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 25, Number 2, 1971

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