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Coral Reef Geomorphology

  • By: Paul S. Kench
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Coral reef geomorphology is the study of the distribution, morphology, and processes that control the formation and morphological change of coral reefs and reef-associated landforms. Coral reef landforms are unique, as they result from the interaction between ecological processes responsible for the growth of coral and other carbonate producers and physical processes such as waves and currents that modulate ecological processes and redistribute carbonate material within reef systems. Coral reef geomorphology aims to understand how these process interactions vary across a range of timescales and control the morphological development of whole reef structures and reef-associated features. The range of temporal and spatial scales of interest to coral geomorphology bridges both short-term ecological and long-term geological timescales. Consequently, the discipline of coral reef geomorphology makes a ...

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