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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 56 (1972)

Issue: 3. (March)

First Page: 650

Last Page: 650

Title: Microboring Organisms as Environmental Indicators and Sediment Tracers, Arlington Reef Complex, Australia: ABSTRACT

Author(s): W. S. Rooney, R. D. Perkins

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Sediments surrounding the Arlington reef complex of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia were examined to determine the types and relative abundances of microborers present, to describe the morphology of their excavations, and to plot and interpret their distributional patterns. The most widespread and abundant microborings found within carbonate particles were those produced by fungi, which appear to be among the first endolithic organisms to attack skeletal debris. A characteristic branching red (?) alga was found to be most abundant at depths in excess of 18 m, although it was not restricted to these depths. However, a distinctive endolithic sponge was found only at depth below 18 m, and may prove valuable as a paleoecologic guide.

An 8-10ยต endolithic green alga actively infests carbonate particles of the interior reef platform to depths as great as 30 m, although it is generally more abundant at shallower depths. This alga serves both as a photic zone indicator and sediment tracer within the study area. Its distribution within sediments suggests that net transport is from the interior reef platform landward with little or no sediment being carried seaward.

Endolithic organisms were observed to infest molluscan fragments preferentially, thereby selectively removing them from the carbonate fraction. The distribution and spatial relations of endolithic organisms within Arlington reef complex sediments suggest that microborers may be useful as relative depth indicators in recent, and possibly ancient, carbonates.

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