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Reef Succession

A coral-strome reef developed in three stages:

1.

Pioneer Stage: Branching corals colonized a suitable area of subtidal seafloor.

2.

Intermediate Stage: Domed and platy corals built mounds in the middle of the widening reef.

3.

Mature Stage—as the reef continued to widen:

Encrusting stromatoporoids and calcareous algae formed a durable protective ridge on the seaward side.

Tabulate and colonial rugose corals grew within quiet central lagoons.

Silurian

Page 8

Image courtesy of NOAA.

Cross section of modern

Gray’s Reef, located off of Sapelo Island, Georgia.

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