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Cross-shelf colour zonation in northern Great Barrier Reef lagoon surficial sediments

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A cross‐shelf colour zonation is observed in Great Barrier Reef lagoon surficial sediments from 12 to 18°S, with colours tending to lighten from inner to outer shelf. The phenomenon is particularly well defined south of Cairns where four zones occur. The colour zonation appears to reflect the abrupt facies changes that occur in the lagoon. Visual estimates of relative optical lightness for the zones are strongly related to carbonate content, and lightness class boundaries broadly follow carbonate contours, indicating that the mechanisms leading to the colour zones are related to those governing carbonate distribution.
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Keywords: Great Barrier Reef; colour; optical lightness; surficial sediments

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory, Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), PO Box 44, Pyrmont, NSW 2009, Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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