Coral Reefs, Present and Past, on the West Florida Shelf and Platform Margin
Coral Reef, Reef Growth, Outlier Reef, Stony Coral, Reef Tract
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
In spite of the subtle, low-relief contours seen on bathymetric maps of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico (west Florida) shelf and slope (Fig. 4.1), this rim-toramp carbonate platform has and continues to support a surprisingly wide variety of coral reefs as compared to much better-known morphologically complex areas such the Great Barrier Reef. From the mid-shelf to the upper slope, light-dependent, hermatypic coral reefs have formed as a result of hard substrate availability, ideal oceanographic conditions, and sea-level fluctuations. Indeed, the west Florida slope even supports living lightindependent, ahermatypic coral reefs in ~550m water depth (Newton et al. 1987).
This paper summarizes the geomorphic variability of these different reef types, their geologic setting, and the present coral-reef biological community. The paper is organized along a virtual depth transect by presenting different reef settings and types starting from the shallower mid-shelf or mid-ramp setting, moving to the shelf edge, and then to the deeper upper slope.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Coral Reefs, Present, and Past, on the West Florida Shelf and Platform Margin, in B. M. Riegl & R. E. Dodge (Eds.), Coral Reefs of the USA, Springer, p. 127-173
Scholar Commons Citation
Hine, Albert C.; Halley, Robert B.; Locker, Stanley D.; Jarrett, Bret D.; Jaap, Walter C.; Mallinson, David J.; Ciembronowicz, Kate T.; Ogden, Nancy B.; and Naar, David F., "Coral Reefs, Present and Past, on the West Florida Shelf and Platform Margin" (2008). Marine Science Faculty Publications. 2217.