Data Trawler - Project details

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Project details

Title: National Facility External Users: R. Beaman (JCU)
Id: 2392
Acronym: National Facility User: Beaman, R
Investigator(s): Robin Beaman
James Cook University - School of Earth and Environmental Sciences [details]

Jody Webster
University of Sydney [details]

Years: 2012

List of surveys that this project was on.

Use [details] link to view survey details (map, reports, metadata etc) including links to download data.

Survey InvestigatorDescription

R. Beaman (JCU), J. Webster (USYD) MNF Southern Surveyor RV ss2012_t02. Great Barrier Reef phase shift: Gardner Banks to Gardner Reef. Scientific Objectives: On a global scale, coral reefs are experiencing a period of rapid change. The world has effectively lost 19% of the original area of coral reefs since 1950, with the loss predicted of 35% of coral reefs in the next 40 years (Wilkinson, 2008). About 46% of coral reefs are regarded as healthy except for currently unpredictable global climate threats, which includes the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The observed shift of average marine climate zones south by >200 km since 1950 (Lough, 2008) could potentially result in the GBR extending south, causing an algal to coral phase shift as coral settlement follows the changing environmental gradient. The shelf adjacent to Fraser Island is located at the transition between tropical carbonates (GBR) to the north and cool-water carbonates to the south (Schröder-Adams et al., 2008) and represents an ideal natural laboratory to investigate this phase shift. The projected warming trend in SST would anticipate a phase shift from a red algal-dominated substrate to a coral-dominated substrate. A hypothesis is that Gardner Bank would form an antecedent surface for future coral reef development through net coral framework accretion. In effect, Gardner Bank would become Gardner Reef, therefore it is crucial that the extent, structure and morphology of this potentially important site be investigated. (Part extract from voyage plan, please see plan for full details.)
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