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Backreef and beach carbonate sediments of the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia: impacts of reef geometry and currents on sediment composition

Title: Backreef and beach carbonate sediments of the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia: impacts of reef geometry and currents on sediment composition.
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Name(s): Missimer, Thomas M., author
Al-Mashharawi, S., author
Dehwah, A. H. A., author
Coulibaly, K., author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Article
Date Issued: 2017-12-01
Language(s): English
Abstract: Three sites in the Red Sea were investigated to assess the variability of composition in Holocene sediments of the backreef environment within 0–2 m of water depth. This is important because composition of the sediment is commonly used to estimate water depth in ancient carbonate rocks. The site located at the King Abdullah Economic City (Saudi Arabia) contains a fringing reef with the reef tract located very close to the beach at the north end, flaring to the south to produce a narrower backreef area compared to the other two sites. This geometry produces a north to south current with a velocity of up to 15 cm s−1, particularly during high onshore winds. The sediments contain predominantly non-skeletal grains, including peloids, coated grains, ooids, and grapestones that form on the bottom. The percentage of coralgal grains in the sediment was significantly lower than at the other two sites studied. Om Al Misk Island and Shoaiba have a much lower-velocity current within the backreef zone and contain predominantly coralgal sediments from the beach to the landward edge of the reef tract. The two locations containing the predominantly coralgal microfacies were statistically similar, but the King Abdullah Economic City site was statistically different despite having a similar water depth profile. Slight differences in reef configuration, including reef orientation and distance from the shore, can produce considerable differences in sediment thickness and composition within the backreef environment, which should induce caution in the interpretation of water depth in ancient carbonate rocks using composition.
Identifier: 10.1007/s00338-017-1607-4 (doi), fgcu_ir_000035 (IID), http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s00338-017-1607-4 (uri)
Note(s): Article available at DOI link above.
Subject(s): Backreef zone
Sediment composition
Grain size distribution
Holocene
Coral reef
Red Sea
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fgcu/flvc_fgcu_islandoraimporter_10.1007_s00338-017-1607-4_1518034396
Use and Reproduction: publisher
Owner Institution: FGCU
Is Part Of: Coral Reefs.
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