CSDMS 2013 annual meeting poster Jeremy Kerr

Presentation provided during CSDMS annual meeting 2013

A 3-D cellular depositional model of platform evolution delivered at fine scale

Jeremy Kerr, Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center Dania Florida, United States. jk908@nova.edu
Samuel Purkis, Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center Dania Florida, United States. purkis@nova.edu

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Satellite and field observations find modern carbonate depositional systems to be self-organized, yet the processes generating such behavior are not fully understood. A 3-D forward model of carbonate reef growth rooted in cellular automata is developed to simulate the evolution of self-organized geometry through time. Carbonate landscapes are generated over spatial extents of several kilometers through time scales of millennia at meter-scale resolution. Classes in the model include carbonate factories (e.g., branching and massive coral communities, algal communities) and sinks (e.g., unconsolidated sand). Environmental factors include relative sea level and light intensity, and ecological controls are based on life history traits for the biological facies. Ecological processes within the model include mortality and colonization rates for biological classes, transition probabilities between facies, and rates of vertical accretion. The algorithm results in a self-organized landscape that emulates those observed in nature, such as rims and reticulate structures. Visualizations can be produced by accessing topographic and facies maps generated at each time step. This project’s goals are 1) to investigate which configurations of environmental parameters result in specific spatial motifs, 2) examine the effects of environmental perturbations on reef construction, and 3) understand the importance of biological and physical regimes on the generation of geomorphological features.

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