Ph Defense


"History of the Barrier reefs growth of the south west Pacific overs last 1.5 Ma : link between carbonate production, turbidites deposits and global environmental changes"

5th october at 10 a.m. - Amphitheatre of building 4, Laboratory of planetology and geodynamic - Faculty of Sciences and Technicals - University of Nantes


Résumé : Sedimentary record from Australia eastern margin offshore the Great Reef Barrier Reef is used to better understand the dynamics of mixed margins of the Southwest Pacific, in relation to Barrier reef expansion during the Pleistocene. Significant variations are observed in the nature and frequency of the turbidites deposits in the deep sedimentary record, over the last 1.5 Ma. These variations are associated with the barrier reef expansion around 400-500 ka. Comparison with a similar sedimentary record located offshore New Caledonia show similar and nearly synchronous trend, highlights a potential common mechanism for the barrier reefs expansion in the SW Pacific region. This study further explores links between carbonate production and environmental changes which are addressed by the study of the ratio Mg/Ca in surface dwelling planktic foraminifera, a proxy for sea surface temperatures reconstruction. Single foraminifera analysis were also measured to quantify the range of temperature for a given period. Measurements were performed on two G. ruber morphotypes known to calcify at different depths. Mean temperatures and seasonality do not appear to be the main control factor of the barrier expansion in the region. The vertical trend of temperatures over the last 1.5 Ma, offshore the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia, seems to be associated with hydrodynamic changes of the Coral Sea.