Jody M. Webster

Jody M. Webster
The University of Sydney · School of Geosciences, Geocoastal Research Group

PhD
Professor Jody Webster is Co-Coordinator of the Geocoastal Research Group (GRG) in the School of Geosciences.

About

221
Publications
57,501
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Introduction
Jody is particularly interested in coral reef and carbonate platform systems, both modern and ancient, and their associated sedimentary systems; as tools to address fundamental questions in paleoclimate variability and tectonics, and in turn the influence of these factors on the geometry, composition and evolution of these sedimentary systems.
Additional affiliations
September 2008 - present
The University of Sydney
August 2008 - present
The University of Sydney
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
May 2005 - August 2008
James Cook University Brisbane
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (221)
Article
Anthropocene climate change and water quality degradation represent unprecedented challenges to modern coral reefs. Although declining reef health after European colonization is well documented around the world and increased terrigenous sediment flux is known to have terminated deglacial reefs in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), longer-term patterns o...
Article
The inter-reef Halimeda bioherms of the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have accumulated up to 25 m of positive relief and up to four times greater volume of calcium carbonate sediment than the nearby coral reefs during the Holocene. Covering >6000 km², the Halimeda bioherms represent a significant contribution to the development of the northeast...
Article
Comparatively little work has been carried out on the morphology and distribution of submarine landslides on mixed carbonate-siliciclastic margins. The morphometric analysis of 84 open slope submarine landslides on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) margin of north-eastern Australia provides useful insights into slope failure dynamics and frequency distr...
Article
Full-text available
More accurate global volumetric estimations of shallow-water reef deposits are needed to better inform climate and carbon cycle models. Using recently acquired datasets and International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 325 cores, we calculated shallow-water CaCO 3 volumetrics and mass for the Great Barrier Reef region and extrapolated the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Anthropocene climate change and water quality degradation represent unprecedented challenges to modern coral reef ecology. Projected trends for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) suggest continuing declines in reef health. Although declining reef health after European colonization is well documented around the world and increased terrigenous sediment flu...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reefs may provide a beneficial first line of defence against tsunami hazards, though this is currently debated. Using a fully nonlinear, Boussinesq propagation model, we examine the buffering capacity of the Great Barrier Reef against tsunamis triggered by several hypothetical sources: a series of far-field, Solomon Islands earthquake sources...
Article
Full-text available
Drilling of the eastern Brazilian continental shelf in the 1980’s identified several main factors controlling Holocene reef growth in the South Atlantic. However, this model is limited by few fossil reef cores, sparse uncalibrated dates (< 10) and basic sedimentary and coralgal descriptions. Here we integrate 62 recently published C¹⁴-AMS ages with...
Article
Full-text available
Marine Isotope Stage 5 deposits have been reported on many tropical Pacific islands. This paper presents a database compiled through the review of MIS 5e (last interglacial – LIG) coral reef records from islands belonging to French Polynesia (Anaa, Niau, Makatea, Moruroa, Takapoto, Bora Bora), the Hawaiian Islands (Oahu, Lanai, Midway Atoll), Tuval...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical marine biodiversity studies have been biased towards more accessible coastal habitats and shallow coral reefs, while deeper inter-reef habitats are less studied due to different survey challenges. One such inter-reef habitat is the ‘bioherms’ dominated by the calcareous Halimeda macroalgae. In the northern section of Australia’s Great Barr...
Article
Full-text available
Rubble islands are dynamic sedimentary features present on reef platforms that evolve under a variety of morphodynamic processes and controlling mechanisms. They provide valuable inhabitable land for small island nations, critical habitat for numerous species, and are threatened by climate change. Aiming to investigate the controlling mechanisms di...
Article
The Lansdowne Bank is a partly drowned, isolated carbonate platform of around 4000 km² located 300 km west of New Caledonia, in the SW Pacific Ocean, in water depths of 20 to 100 m. New multibeam bathymetric data, high resolution seismic reflection profiles and sediment gravity cores have been acquired on the bank top and adjacent slopes. This data...
Article
Full-text available
The northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Halimeda bioherms have accumulated on the outer continental shelf from calcium carbonate algal sediments over the past ~10,000 years and cover >6000 km2 of shelf area. As such, Halimeda bioherms play a key role in the shallow marine carbon cycle over millennial timescales. The main source of nitrogen (N) to the...
Article
Full-text available
The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is an internationally recognized and widely studied ecosystem, yet little is known about its sea surface temperature (SST) evolution since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (~20 kyr BP). Here, we present the first paleo-application of Isopora coral-derived SST calibrations to a suite of 25 previously published fossil Isopo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Marine isotope stage 5 deposits have been reported on many tropical Pacific islands. This paper presents a database compiled through the review of MIS 5e (Last Interglacial – LIG) coral reef records from islands belonging to French Polynesia (Anaa, Niau, Makatea, Moruroa, Takapoto, Bora Bora), the Hawaiian Islands (Oahu, Lana'i, Midway Atoll), Tuva...
Article
The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the world's largest extant mixed silicilastic–carbonate margin. Previous research on the Great Barrier Reef has suggested that the extensive barrier reef system may act as an impermeable barrier and limit the development of delta systems during lowstands, but sufficient geophysical data to support this hypothesis are...
Article
Full-text available
The calcareous Halimeda bioherms of the northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia are the largest actively accumulating Halimeda deposits worldwide. They contribute a substantial component of the Great Barrier Reef neritic carbonate factory, as well as the geomorphological development of Australia’s northeast continental shelf. Halimeda bioherm geomor...
Article
The fossil record provides valuable data for improving our understanding of both past and future reef resilience and vulnerability to environmental change. The spatial and temporal pattern of the initiation of the Holocene Great Barrier Reef presents a case study of reef response to rapid sea-level rise. Past studies have been limited by the lack o...
Article
Full-text available
Estimating the impact of environmental processes on vertical reef development in geological time is a very challenging task. pyReef-Core is a deterministic carbonate stratigraphic forward model designed to simulate the key biological and environmental processes that determine vertical reef accretion and assemblage changes in fossil reef drill cores...
Article
Bioerosion traces preserved in coral reef framework provide insight into past environmental conditions and reef health. However, few studies have explored the relationship between bioerosion, reef growth history and environmental changes. The International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 325 sampled late glacial to deglacial reef sequences...
Article
Contemporary understanding of Holocene coral reef development is based primarily on sub-surface investigations of reef flat, back reef and lagoon zones. Few studies of Holocene fore reef development exist, constituting a significant gap in our understanding of reef evolution. The spur and groove (SaG) zone is a distinct, understudied, feature of fo...
Article
Reefal microbial crusts (RMCs) are fine-grained, non-skeletal carbonate crusts coating coralgal reef frameworks, and are locally common in late Quaternary reef deposits. They are interpreted as microbial carbonates produced by the growth and metabolism of benthic bacterial communities. Key questions remain concerning their uneven spatio-temporal di...
Conference Paper
The Lansdowne Bank is a partly drowned, isolated rimmed carbonate platform of around 4000 km2 lying in between 30-100 m water depth and located offshore New Caledonia in the SW Pacific. New multibeam data, single-channel seismic profiles, along with dredged rock samples and sediment gravity cores have been acquired on the bank top and adjacent slop...
Chapter
Submarine landslides on modern mixed siliciclastic‐carbonate margins are poorly understood compared to their counterparts in other settings. We present a synthesis of four representative submarine landslides types along the Great Barrier Reef margin, the largest extant mixed siliciclastic‐carbonate province in the world. The investigated examples a...
Article
Full-text available
Reef growth patterns and the development of associated environments have been extensively studied from reef deposits from Holocene and previous interglacial highstands. However, reefs that grew during glacial lowstands are comparatively poorly understood. Here we show the formation of reef-flat and back-reef environments following rapid sea-level f...
Article
The Holocene epoch offers a potential analogue for understanding future sea-level variability as both SST's and Global Mean Sea Levels (GMSL) were at times higher than observed today. However, GMSL can differ significantly from Relative Sea Level (RSL), even at far-field sites remote from margins of former ice sheets. Much of this spatial variabili...
Article
The Holocene epoch offers a potential analogue for understanding future sea-level variability as both SST's and Global Mean Sea Levels (GMSL) were at times higher than observed today. However, GMSL can differ significantly from Relative Sea Level (RSL), even at far-field sites remote from margins of former ice sheets. Much of this spatial variabili...
Chapter
Full-text available
Geomorphology and geological processes exert fundamental controls on the occurrence, distribution, and makeup of mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs). Two broad geomorphic categories are shelves and slopes. Shelves include outer portions of continental and insular shelves that dip gently into mesophotic depths before reaching the shelf break and have...
Article
Full-text available
In mixed terrigenous-carbonate shelves, terrigenous sediment input may influence changes in slope morphology and sedimentation. Moreover, sea level changes and antecedent geology can also play an important role in defining depositional patterns for the shelf-slope system. This work investigates contrasting depositional and geomorphological patterns...
Article
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Due to copyright restrictions, I will only post the cover page of the article. Please refer to the DOI or use the title to find the journal version.
Article
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Evidence of submerged paleoshorelines on tectonically stable continental shelves is represented by relict coastal depositional features that formed during periods of lower sea level. This study investigates two paleoshoreline features that extend 70 km from the Barwon Bank along the southeast Fraser Shelf, off eastern Australia. They are defined by...
Article
The shelf of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) was progressively marine flooded from the last glaciation maximum (LGM) (ca 20 ka BP) until the last sea-level highstand (ca 6 ka BP), affecting the depositional evolution of the GBR margin and associated deposits. However, the physiographic variables related to this process have not been fully characterize...
Article
Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 325 cored submerged reefs along the shelf edge of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) to study sea-level and environmental changes and their impacts on reef communities and reef growth since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Previous work defined five reef sequences (Reef 1–5) that span the last 30,000 yea...
Article
To understand sea-level changes since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and their effects on coral reef systems, the shelf-edge slopes of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) were cored during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 325. Recovered unconsolidated sediments beneath the submerged shelf edge reefs contain abundant foraminiferal te...
Article
Microbialites are volumetrically abundant components in Last Glacial Maximum and deglacial reefs in the Australian Great Barrier Reef sampled by IODP Expedition 325 in 34 holes from 17 sites (M0030–M0058), along four transects on the shelf edge. Detailed radiometric datings show that four distinct reef phases developed between 28and 10 ka, displayi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Estimating the impact of environmental processes on vertical reef development in geological timescales due to complex models and data with missing information is a very challenging task. This paper provides a Bayesian framework called BayesReef, based on PyReef-Core, for the estimation and uncertainty quantification of environmental processes and f...
Article
Full-text available
The approximately 10,000-year-long Last Glacial Maximum, before the termination of the last ice age, was the coldest period in Earth's recent climate history1. Relative to the Holocene epoch, atmospheric carbon dioxide was about 100 parts per million lower and tropical sea surface temperatures were about 3 to 5 degrees Celsius lower2,3. The Last Gl...
Article
Full-text available
In major modern reef regions, either in the Indo-Pacific or the Caribbean, scleractinian corals are described as the main reef framework builders, often associated with crustose coralline algae. We used underwater cores to investigate Late Holocene reef growth and characterise the main framework builders in the Abrolhos Shelf, the largest and riche...
Article
Full-text available
Assemblages of corals characterise specific reef biozones and the environmental conditions that change spatially across a reef and with depth. Drill cores through fossil reefs record the time and depth distribution of assemblages, which captures a partial history of the vertical growth response of reefs to changing palaeoenvironmental conditions. T...
Article
Full-text available
Previous drilling through submerged fossil coral reefs has greatly improved our understanding of the general pattern of sea-level change since the Last Glacial Maximum, however, how reefs responded to these changes remains uncertain. Here we document the evolution of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), the world's largest reef system, to major, abrupt en...
Article
Wave breaking and transformation on coral reef flats is an important process protecting tropical coastlines and regulating the energy regimes of coral reefs. However, the high hydraulic roughness, shallow water, and steep bathymetries of coral reefs may confound common surf zone assumptions, such as a depth-limited and saturated surf zone with a co...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the effects of climatic variability on sediment dynamics is hindered by limited ability of current models to simulate long-term evolution of sediment transfer from source to sink and associated morphological changes. We present a new approach based on a reduced-complexity model which computes over geological time: sediment transport f...
Article
Full-text available
Assemblages of corals characterise specific reef biozones and the environmental conditions that change laterally across a reef and with depth. Drill cores through fossil reefs record the time- and depth-distribution of assemblages, which captures a partial history of the vertical growth response of reefs to changing palaeoenvironmental conditions....
Article
Full-text available
Coral reefs are diverse ecosystems that support millions of people worldwide by providing coastal protection from waves. Climate change and human impacts are leading to degraded coral reefs and to rising sea levels, posing concerns for the protection of tropical coastal regions in the near future. We use a wave dissipation model calibrated with emp...
Article
Many factors govern reef growth through time, but their relative contributions are commonly poorly known. A prime example is the degree to which modern reef morphology is controlled by contemporary hydrodynamic settings or antecedent topography. Fortunately, reefs record essential information for interpreting palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironment wit...
Article
Studies of past glacial cycles yield critical information about climate and sea-level (ice-volume) variability, including the sensitivity of climate to radiative change, and impacts of crustal rebound on sea-level reconstructions for past interglacials. Here we identify significant differences between the last and penultimate glacial maxima (LGM an...
Article
Fossil coral reefs are valuable recorders of glacio-eustatic sea-level changes, as they provide key temporal information on deglacial meltwater pulses (MWPs). The timing, rate, magnitude, and meltwater source of these sea-level episodes remain controversial, despite their importance for understanding ocean-ice sheet dynamics during periods of abrup...
Article
Hyperspectral imagery (1000-2500 nm) was used to quantitatively map carbonate and clay minerals in fossil reef cores that are relevant to accurately reconstructing past environmental and climatic conditions. Techniques were developed using hyperspectral imagery of fossil reef corals and cores acquired from three different geological settings, and w...
Article
Sediment transport is a key driver of reef zonation and biodiversity, where an understanding of sediment dynamics gives insights into past reef processes and allows the prediction of geomorphic responses to changing environmental conditions. However, modal conditions within the back-reef seldom promote sediment transport, hence direct observation i...
Article
A detailed understanding of the development of coral reefs and their internal structure has important applications for predicting future reef trajectories in light of climate changes, petroleum exploration and reconstructing past environmental changes such as sea level. Numerical computer modelling provides a quantitative means of testing and under...
Article
The Ribbon Reef 5 borehole offers a unique record of reef growth spanning the entire history of the northern Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Previous studies have reported the main stratigraphical, lithological and chronological patterns, as well as basic descriptions of the coralgal assemblages, but no detailed coral community analysis was undertaken. W...