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Formationmechanismof beach rocks and its controlling factors in coral reef area, Qilian Islets and Cays, Xisha Islands, China

Na Zhao 1,2,*, Dishu Shen3,Jian-Wei Shen1, *
1 CAS Key Laboratory of Marginal Sea Geology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301, China;2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;3 Chongqing City Management College, 151 the Second South Road, Huxi Higher Education Mega Center, Shapingba District, Chongqing 401331, China

ABSTRACT:Beachrock, which forms at the intertidal zone, is a natural barrier to protect beach and island from wave erosion. The formationmechanism of beachrocks is significant in the study of surface carbonate diagenesis and protection of island.Beachrocks in Qilian Islets and Cays were formed about 500-700 yr.BP, neither its composition nor sedimentary structure experienced intense post-reformation. Beach rocks in Qilian Islets and Cays are mainly composed of reef-building skeletal fragments and bioclasts without terrigenous sediments. This study focused onthe types and morphologies of cements in beach rocks of Qilian Islets and Cays, and its cementation mechanisms and influencing factors. Biological activities, such as micritization caused by microbial activities and algae binding action, playan important role in the initial stage of bioclasttransformation andpromote the subsequent earlymarineand early meteoric cementation.Acicular aragonite induced by early marine cementation is well developed in beach rocks, especially in those samples from of Medium Islet.Early meteoric cementationis not common as marine cementation, generally presenting granular and meniscus cements.The main factors affecting the formation and development of beachrocks in Qilian Islets and Caysincludesediment source, hydrodynamic condition, climate, sea level changeand anthropogenic impacts.


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Keywords:beachrocks; cementation; micritization; coral reef; Qilian Islets and Cays

DOI:
10.1007/s12583-018-0981-3
CLC number:
U469.72
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