Reefs are prolific sediment sources; once produced, however, the sediment can be transported on-platform, and produce reef—reef sand apron—lagoon facies transitions. Although this general pattern is evident on many carbonate platforms, the details concerning the sedimentologic variability within and among these geomorphic elements and the processes controlling the sedimentologic differentiation are poorly constrained. To better understand the depositional variability of reef sand aprons, Wasserman and Rankey combine field, petrographic, and granulometric data from Holocene sediment with hydrodynamic observations and modeling of Aranuka Atoll, Kiribati. Results provide a predictive conceptual model for the depositional variability and processes operative in reef sand apron systems, which may be comparable to ancient reservoir analogs, many of which host prolific hydrocarbon resources.
Physical oceanographic influences on sedimentology of reef sand aprons: Holocene of Aranuka Atoll (Kiribati), equatorial Pacific by Hannah N. Wasserman and Eugene C. Rankey