Paleontology and Historical Geology

Research Project

 

“Carbonate sedimentology in Kepulauan Seribu, Indonesia during the Anthropocene”

Indonesia is part of the Indo-Pacific coral triangle which is known for its reefal diversity. In contrast to the common held view of tropical carbonates as ‘blue water’ system, the carbonate systems in Indonesia are often characterized by moderate to high terrestrial runoff and low salinity, caused by high rainfall rates of the monsoonal climate. We study the effect of these effect on a coral patch complex in the Java Sea, offshore Jakarta Bay. The bi-annual reversal of the monsoonal winds combined with environmental stressors contributes to coastal erosion, which has threatened many of Indonesia’s coral islands. Our study contributes to a better understanding of the budget of sediment production versus erosion on small coral islands. A potential environmental stressor is the ingestion of microplastic by reef corals with potentially detrimental effects on coral growth. Microplastic therefore poses a threat to reef corals and their ability to act as framework builders in coral reef systems. Despite this, microplastic accumulation in reef systems remains largely unquantified. We aim to analyze the control of sedimentary processes on the distribution of microplastic in different carbonate depositional environments.