Dataset: Late quaternary regional controls on the development of the Great Barrier Reef: geophysical evidence


High-resolution seismic reflection data have been examined in an attempt to identify and explain some of the regional differences and controls on the development of the Great Barrier Reef. The main controlling influence on the development of the Great Barrier Reef Province since the end of the Tertiary has been glacially controlled variations in sea level. Response to these has been qualified by variations in bathymetry, shelf width, drainage patterns, and sediment supply . The development of the Great Barrier Reef appears to have been strongly influenced by the antecedent surface and subaerial processes. but not to any great extent by karst processes. as suggested by Purdy. There is no evidence to suggest that the inner shelf is a karst marginal plain . and the existence of an extensive former limestone barrier platform on the marginal shelf can not be inferred from the seismic data. Subaerial and fluvial action appear as important processes in sculpturing the shelf during long periods of emergence in the late Cainozoic. Their effect varies both along and across the shelf.

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