Hot off the press! Environmental controls on holocene reef development in Brazil

Please join me in congratulating of GRG member Dr. Belinda Dechnik on the publication of her fantastic new paper in the journal Coral Reefs. This paper represents a fundamental advance in our understanding of Holocene reef development along the relatively poorly studied Brazilian margin. Here we integrate 62 recently published C14-AMS ages with newly defined coralgal assemblages, sedimentary facies and lateral progradation rates from several transects in the Abrolhos Continental Shelf (ACS) and Anchieta reef, Eastern Brazil.

Dechnik, B., Bastos, A.C., Vieira, L.S., Webster, J.M., Fallon, S., Yokoyama, Y., Braga, J.-C., Pereira, M.A., Nothdurft, L., Sanborn, K., Moura, R.L. and Amado-filho, G., Environmental controls on holocene reef development along the eastern brazilian margin. Coral Reefs.

The main objective of this paper was to investigate the factors controlling the timing of when these reefs reached sea level, the rate of progradation, the direction of reef flat accretion, and the resulting response of coralgal assemblages to inimical environmental conditions. Building on but another recently published paper, Belinda’s provides novel data and interpretations about the evolution of Holocene reef growth in the sub-tropical Atlantic in the context of newly described coralgal assemblages and sedimentary facies.

Our results demonstrate that even though the health of these reefs has fluctuated through cycles independent of anthropogenic impacts, they are particularly sensitive to deteriorating water quality, as is currently observed due to large-scale deforestation, industrial uses, and recent mining disasters in the region.

The study is part of a wonderful, ongoing collaboration between the GRG and Associate Professor Alex Basto’s marine geology & geophysics group (Laboratório de Oceanografia Geológica – LaboGeo) at Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Vitoria, Brazil. This paper represents the 2nd in series of new papers from Belinda’s previous post doc with Alex, working jointly between Brazil and USYD.

Bravo Belinda and Alex!





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