The goal of this project was to gain a regional understanding of the geomorphology of the Kimberley coral reefs, including their interaction with different substrates, morphological patterns, distribution and relative exposure to terrestrial and other impacts. The most cost effective way to determine reef growth architecture is through shallow seismic surveys which will provide information on foundations, previous reef growth events and Holocene buildup, also providing site survey data for collection of Holocene cores. The Holocene reef record will be obtained by coring selected sites, to gain an understanding of sea levels and growth history responses, timing of events during the Holocene, reef building communities, resilience and climate change responses. This involved addressing the following:
In summary, our objectives were:
- Use remote sensing with limited ground truth checking to establish the regional geomorphology, growth patterns and substrates of the inshore Kimberley reefs;
- Determine the seismic architecture of selected Kimberley reefs as part of an assessment of Holocene reef growth and relation to antecedent foundations to assess reef growth;
- Obtain a Holocene record of sea level change, reef building communities, chronology and growth patterns and climate history of selected inshore reefs for comparison with the short term record, where suitable coral material is obtained;
- Where possible, quantify reef flat elevations, reef topography and morphology.
Prior to commencement of acquisition of field data in 2013 time was invested in examining technical, equipment and logistic issues presented for SBP surveys and collection of coral reef cores for the remote and “tidally challenged” operational activities that will be required by this project. This is important also for site selection, which to some extent was dependent on other Kimberley project activities and priorities, and on ongoing discussions within WAMSI and with Industry groups.
Ore pit mapping fieldwork was undertaken on a Holocene reef exposed in a mining pit on Cockatoo Island in July 2013 and a paper published on the findings in Marine Geology in 2015. In October 2013 SBP fieldwork was successfully completed and analysis of the data completed. Collection of cores was completed in October 2014, where possible, in the same locations as the SBP, all cores were been logged and sampled and samples sent for dating, dating results for all reefs, except Adele Reef, have been received. The ‘ReefKIM’ database has mapped more than 800 reefs and 30 analysed in detail.
Data is stored at Pawsey Supercomputing Centre on 'WA Node Ocean Data Network' project under 'WAMSI2 > KMRP > 1.3 > 1.3.1'. There are seven main folders:
1) 000 Reports 2) 001 Metadata 3) 002 ReefKIM Database 4) 003 Reef Coring 5) 004 Cockatoo Island 6) 005 Seismic 7) 006 Papers. Detail of folders is available via '1.3.1_Folder_Structure.pdf' which is attached to this metadata record.