High-resolution, seismic-reflection data elucidate the late Quaternary development of the largest coral-reef complex in the main Hawaiian Islands. Six acoustic facies were identified from reflection characteristics and lithosome geometry. An extensive, buried platform with uniformly low relief was traced beneath fore-reef and marginal shelf environments. This highly reflective surface dips gently seaward to ???130 m depth and locally crops out on the seafloor. It probably represents a wave-cut platform or ancient reef flat. We propose alternative evolutionary models, in which sea-level changes have modulated the development of reef systems, to explain the observed stratigraphic relationships. The primary difference between the models is the origin of the underlying antecedent surface, which arguably could have formed during either regression/lowstand or subsequent transgression. ?? Springer-Verlag 2005.
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Possible modes of coral-reef development at Molokai, Hawaii, inferred from seismic-reflection profiling