Filling the gap: A 60 ky record of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic turbidite deposition from the Great Barrier Reef

Angel Puga-Bernabeu, Jody M. Webster, Robin J. Beaman, Paula Reimer, Willem Renema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Late Pleistocene to Holocene margin sedimentation on the Great Barrier Reef, a mixed carbonatesiliciclastic margin, has been explained by a transgressive shedding model. This model has challenged widely accepted sequence stratigraphic models in terms of the timing and type of sediment (i.e. carbonate vs. siliciclastic) deposited during sea-level oscillations. However, this model documents only hemipelagic sedimentation and the contribution of coarse-grained turbidite deposition, and the role of submarine canyons in this process, remain elusive on this archetypal margin. Here we present a new model of turbidite deposition for the last 60 ky in the north-eastern Australia margin. Using highresolution bathymetry, 58 new and existing radiometric ages, and the composition of 81 turbidites from 15 piston cores, we found that the spatial and temporal variation of turbidites is controlled by the relationship between sea-level change and the variable physiography along the margin. Siliciclastic and mixed carbonate-siliciclastic turbidites were linked to canyons indenting the shelf-break and the welldeveloped shelf-edge reef barriers that stored sediment behind them. Turbidite deposition was sustained while the sea-level position allowed the connection and sediment bypassing through the interreef passages and canyons. Carbonate turbidites dominated in regions with more open conditions at the outer-shelf and where slope-confined canyons dominated or where canyons are generally less abundant. The turn-on and maintenance of carbonate production during sea-level fluctuations also influenced the timing of carbonate turbidite deposition. We show that a fundamental understanding of the variable physiography inherent to mixed carbonate-siliciclastic margins is essential to accurately interpret deep-water, coarse-grained deposition within a sequence stratigraphic context. 

LanguageEnglish
Pages40-50
Number of pages11
JournalMarine and petroleum geology
Volume50
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Turbidites
  • Submarine canyons
  • Slope morphology
  • Shelf-edge barrier reef
  • Sequence stratigraphy
  • North-eastern Australia margin
  • SURFACE OCEAN RADIOCARBON
  • NORTH-EASTERN AUSTRALIA
  • SUBMARINE-CANYON
  • SOUTHWESTERN PACIFIC
  • SEDIMENTATION
  • QUEENSLAND
  • MORPHOLOGY
  • HISTORY
  • BAHAMAS
  • MARGIN

Cite this

Puga-Bernabeu, Angel ; Webster, Jody M. ; Beaman, Robin J. ; Reimer, Paula ; Renema, Willem. / Filling the gap: A 60 ky record of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic turbidite deposition from the Great Barrier Reef. In: Marine and petroleum geology. 2014 ; Vol. 50. pp. 40-50.
@article{ee3f5613bc4044e98a368d6ecffe84cc,
title = "Filling the gap: A 60 ky record of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic turbidite deposition from the Great Barrier Reef",
abstract = "Late Pleistocene to Holocene margin sedimentation on the Great Barrier Reef, a mixed carbonatesiliciclastic margin, has been explained by a transgressive shedding model. This model has challenged widely accepted sequence stratigraphic models in terms of the timing and type of sediment (i.e. carbonate vs. siliciclastic) deposited during sea-level oscillations. However, this model documents only hemipelagic sedimentation and the contribution of coarse-grained turbidite deposition, and the role of submarine canyons in this process, remain elusive on this archetypal margin. Here we present a new model of turbidite deposition for the last 60 ky in the north-eastern Australia margin. Using highresolution bathymetry, 58 new and existing radiometric ages, and the composition of 81 turbidites from 15 piston cores, we found that the spatial and temporal variation of turbidites is controlled by the relationship between sea-level change and the variable physiography along the margin. Siliciclastic and mixed carbonate-siliciclastic turbidites were linked to canyons indenting the shelf-break and the welldeveloped shelf-edge reef barriers that stored sediment behind them. Turbidite deposition was sustained while the sea-level position allowed the connection and sediment bypassing through the interreef passages and canyons. Carbonate turbidites dominated in regions with more open conditions at the outer-shelf and where slope-confined canyons dominated or where canyons are generally less abundant. The turn-on and maintenance of carbonate production during sea-level fluctuations also influenced the timing of carbonate turbidite deposition. We show that a fundamental understanding of the variable physiography inherent to mixed carbonate-siliciclastic margins is essential to accurately interpret deep-water, coarse-grained deposition within a sequence stratigraphic context. ",
keywords = "Turbidites, Submarine canyons, Slope morphology, Shelf-edge barrier reef, Sequence stratigraphy, North-eastern Australia margin, SURFACE OCEAN RADIOCARBON, NORTH-EASTERN AUSTRALIA, SUBMARINE-CANYON, SOUTHWESTERN PACIFIC, SEDIMENTATION, QUEENSLAND, MORPHOLOGY, HISTORY, BAHAMAS, MARGIN",
author = "Angel Puga-Bernabeu and Webster, {Jody M.} and Beaman, {Robin J.} and Paula Reimer and Willem Renema",
year = "2014",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2013.11.009",
language = "English",
volume = "50",
pages = "40--50",
journal = "Marine and petroleum geology",
issn = "0264-8172",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

Filling the gap: A 60 ky record of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic turbidite deposition from the Great Barrier Reef. / Puga-Bernabeu, Angel; Webster, Jody M.; Beaman, Robin J.; Reimer, Paula; Renema, Willem.

In: Marine and petroleum geology, Vol. 50, 02.2014, p. 40-50.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Filling the gap: A 60 ky record of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic turbidite deposition from the Great Barrier Reef

AU - Puga-Bernabeu, Angel

AU - Webster, Jody M.

AU - Beaman, Robin J.

AU - Reimer, Paula

AU - Renema, Willem

PY - 2014/2

Y1 - 2014/2

N2 - Late Pleistocene to Holocene margin sedimentation on the Great Barrier Reef, a mixed carbonatesiliciclastic margin, has been explained by a transgressive shedding model. This model has challenged widely accepted sequence stratigraphic models in terms of the timing and type of sediment (i.e. carbonate vs. siliciclastic) deposited during sea-level oscillations. However, this model documents only hemipelagic sedimentation and the contribution of coarse-grained turbidite deposition, and the role of submarine canyons in this process, remain elusive on this archetypal margin. Here we present a new model of turbidite deposition for the last 60 ky in the north-eastern Australia margin. Using highresolution bathymetry, 58 new and existing radiometric ages, and the composition of 81 turbidites from 15 piston cores, we found that the spatial and temporal variation of turbidites is controlled by the relationship between sea-level change and the variable physiography along the margin. Siliciclastic and mixed carbonate-siliciclastic turbidites were linked to canyons indenting the shelf-break and the welldeveloped shelf-edge reef barriers that stored sediment behind them. Turbidite deposition was sustained while the sea-level position allowed the connection and sediment bypassing through the interreef passages and canyons. Carbonate turbidites dominated in regions with more open conditions at the outer-shelf and where slope-confined canyons dominated or where canyons are generally less abundant. The turn-on and maintenance of carbonate production during sea-level fluctuations also influenced the timing of carbonate turbidite deposition. We show that a fundamental understanding of the variable physiography inherent to mixed carbonate-siliciclastic margins is essential to accurately interpret deep-water, coarse-grained deposition within a sequence stratigraphic context. 

AB - Late Pleistocene to Holocene margin sedimentation on the Great Barrier Reef, a mixed carbonatesiliciclastic margin, has been explained by a transgressive shedding model. This model has challenged widely accepted sequence stratigraphic models in terms of the timing and type of sediment (i.e. carbonate vs. siliciclastic) deposited during sea-level oscillations. However, this model documents only hemipelagic sedimentation and the contribution of coarse-grained turbidite deposition, and the role of submarine canyons in this process, remain elusive on this archetypal margin. Here we present a new model of turbidite deposition for the last 60 ky in the north-eastern Australia margin. Using highresolution bathymetry, 58 new and existing radiometric ages, and the composition of 81 turbidites from 15 piston cores, we found that the spatial and temporal variation of turbidites is controlled by the relationship between sea-level change and the variable physiography along the margin. Siliciclastic and mixed carbonate-siliciclastic turbidites were linked to canyons indenting the shelf-break and the welldeveloped shelf-edge reef barriers that stored sediment behind them. Turbidite deposition was sustained while the sea-level position allowed the connection and sediment bypassing through the interreef passages and canyons. Carbonate turbidites dominated in regions with more open conditions at the outer-shelf and where slope-confined canyons dominated or where canyons are generally less abundant. The turn-on and maintenance of carbonate production during sea-level fluctuations also influenced the timing of carbonate turbidite deposition. We show that a fundamental understanding of the variable physiography inherent to mixed carbonate-siliciclastic margins is essential to accurately interpret deep-water, coarse-grained deposition within a sequence stratigraphic context. 

KW - Turbidites

KW - Submarine canyons

KW - Slope morphology

KW - Shelf-edge barrier reef

KW - Sequence stratigraphy

KW - North-eastern Australia margin

KW - SURFACE OCEAN RADIOCARBON

KW - NORTH-EASTERN AUSTRALIA

KW - SUBMARINE-CANYON

KW - SOUTHWESTERN PACIFIC

KW - SEDIMENTATION

KW - QUEENSLAND

KW - MORPHOLOGY

KW - HISTORY

KW - BAHAMAS

KW - MARGIN

U2 - 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2013.11.009

DO - 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2013.11.009

M3 - Article

VL - 50

SP - 40

EP - 50

JO - Marine and petroleum geology

T2 - Marine and petroleum geology

JF - Marine and petroleum geology

SN - 0264-8172

ER -