Hot off the press! Reconstructing coastal change along the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef since the Last Ice Age 20,000 years ago.

Please join me in congratulating former GRG PhD student and now collaborator Dr Gustavo Hinestrosa on the publication of his exciting new paper in the journal Continental Shelf Research (CRS)

Cumulative flooding since the Last Ice Age (Hinestrosa et al., 2019)

Hinestrosa, G., Webster, J.M. and Beaman, R.J., 2019. Spatio-temporal patterns in the postglacial flooding of the Great Barrier Reef shelf, Australia. Continental Shelf Research, 173: 13-26.

For this study, we used a bathymetric model of the entire shelf and a shelf margin sub-set, divided into 33 latitudinal zones. Postglacial marine flooding was simulated and flooded area (km2), flooding magnitude (km2 per sea-level increment), flooding rate (km2 ky−1) and coastline length (km) were estimated for each zone, from 130 m to 0 m below present sea level, representing the period from 20 ka to 6 ka BP.

Rather than a simple “bath tub” flooding exercise, our work is set within a novel and robust stratigraphic and chronologic framework provided by the IODP Exp. 325 (Great Barrier Reef Environmental Changes) fossil core reefs cores.

You can freely download the paper and the link below

Highlights of the paper include:

Postglacial marine flooding was not uniform across the Great Barrier Reef shelf.

Southern-central shelf flooded earlier and at a higher rate than most areas.

Coastline evolved from linear in the early postglacial, to estuarine and lagoonal.

Timing and magnitude of slope sediment flux linked to margin and drainage morphology.

Shelf-edge reef evolution linked to remobilisation or trapping of fine sediments.

This a really interesting paper that looks at how the coastal landscape changed in time and space as sea level flooded across the GBR shelf following the end of the Last Ice Age. This study has important implications for how we estimate late Pleistocene carbonate budgets and links with the atmospheric carbon cycle, as well as for past human migrations in response to this major environmental upheaval.

Bravo Gus!




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