Title

Patterns of sediment composition of Jamaican fringing reef facies

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Sedimentology

Volume

34

Publication Date

1987

First Page

77

Last Page

87

Abstract

Recent carbonate sediments from Jamaican north coast fringing reefs were collected along three parallel traverses in the vicinity of Discovery Bay. Each traverse extended from near shore across the back reef, reef crest, and fore reef to a depth of 75 m. Relative abundances of the biotic constituents vary between sites, reflecting general patterns of reef community composition. The sediment is dominated by highly comminuted coral fragments (27·1% to 63·1%), plates of the calcareous green alga Halimeda (0·4% to 38·7%), coralline algae (4·7% to 16·2%) and the encrusting foraminiferan Homotrema rubrum (0·7% to 9·5%), with lesser amounts of other taxonomic groups (non-encrusting foraminifera 1·3–5·5%; molluscs 1·4–7·0%; echinoderms 0·9–5·0%). Coral fragments, coralline algae and particles of Homotrema rubrum dominate the sediments of the shallow portions of the fore reef (5–15 m), whereas plates of Halimeda are most abundant in sediments from the back reef and deeper portions of the fore reef ( 24 m). Q-mode cluster analysis, using sediment constituent data, resulted in the delineation of four reef biofacies over the depth range of this study (1–75 m).

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