Hot off the press! Microbialite thickness in fossil coral reefs correlates with changes in ocean carbonate saturation level and pH.

Please join me in congratulating of GRG member  Zsanett Szilàgyi on the publication of her fantastic new paper in the journal Marine Geology.

Szilagyi, Z., Webster, J. M., Patterson, M. A., Hips, K., Riding, R., Foley, M., Humblet, M., Yokoyama, Y., Liang, L., Gischler, E., Montaggioni, L., Gherardi, D., and Braga, J. C., 2020, Controls on the spatio-temporal distribution of microbialite crusts on the Great Barrier Reef over the past 30,000 years: Marine Geologyhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2020.106312

A link to the media release from the University of Sydney can be found here, however some highlights from the paper include:

  1. Comprehensive global dataset of more than 700 accurately age constrained microbial crusts over the past 30,000 years.
  2. Modern 3D (computerized tomography) analysis to assess spatial heterogeneity of microbialites in reef frameworks.
  3. >50 radiocarbon ages show microbialite development coeval with and postdating framework.
  4. Global microbialite thickness correlates with changes in carbonate saturation level and pH.

This new paper builds directly on the Nature and Nature Geoscience papers we published recently on the IODP Exp. 325 (Great Barrier Reef Environmental Changes) and provides important new insights into the role that microbialites played in the growth and development of the Great Barrier reef over the past 30,000 years. However, perhaps more importantly, the work really nails down the temporal relationship between microbialite thickness and global changes in the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), calcite saturation state (Ωcalcite), and pH of seawater over this important period.

Bravo Zsanett and I would also like to acknowledge the wonderful contributions of our co-authors on this great team effort.

Cheers

Jody

#MarineScienceSydneyUni

 

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