Larger foraminifera and sedimentation around Fongafale Island, Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu

  • Collen J
  • Garton D
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Larger foraminifera are an important component of coastal sediments around Fongafale Island, Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu, and at least 10 species are present. In the shallow lagoon, foraminifera (mainly Amphistegina lessonii, A. lobifera, Baculogypsina sphaerulata, Calcarina spengleri, Marginopora vertebralis, and Sorites marginalis) are the dominant component of sand and gravel, followed in decreasing order of abundance by calcareous red and green algae, coral, and molluscs. In deeper water, Halimeda replaces the foraminifera. Close inshore, abrasion removes Halimeda and may reduce the number of foraminiferal tests. There is some sediment movement in both onshore and offshore directions although offshore transport appears minor. On land, dissolution that preferentially removes aragonite may increase the proportion of foraminiferal tests to as much as 83% of the subsurface sediment. Sediments on the ocean side are dominated by coral and coralline red algal debris thrown up in 1972 by cyclone Bebe and later moved inshore and lagoonward.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Carbonate sediments
  • Fongafale Island
  • Funafuti Atoll
  • Larger foraminifera
  • Sedimentation Tuvalu

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  • J. D. Collen

  • D. W. Garton

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