Calcium Carbonate Production, Coral Reef Growth, and Sea Level Change

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Science  26 Nov 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4268, pp. 937-939
DOI: 10.1126/science.194.4268.937


Shallow, seaward portions of modern coral reefs produce about 4 kilograms of calcium carbonate per square meter per year, and protected areas produce about 0.8 kilogram per square meter per year. The difference is probably largely a function of water motion. The more rapid rate, equivalent to a maximum vertical accretion of 3 to 5 millimeters per year, places an upper limit on the potential of modern coral reef communities to create a significant vertical structure on a rising sea.