Vulnerability of Coral Reef Islands

Dr Thomas Fellowes

Coral reef islands are increasingly under threat from ocean acidification, warming oceans, sea-level rise, and increased storminess. These islands are dynamic low-lying accumulations of carbonate sediment derived from reef framework and from the shells and skeletons of reef calcifiers (e.g., corals, foraminifera).

Climate change is impacting carbonate production and this may destabilise coral islands in the future. Coral reefs (and their islands) support over 200 million people worldwide and are of international importance as they are used as ‘baselines’ that extend countries legal maritime zones.

This project aims to link science (biology, chemistry and physical processes) and legal perspectives to better understand the mechanisms and timelines of coral island vulnerability.


Contact: Dr Thomas Fellowes


Address: F09 – Madsen Building

School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney


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