From: Darryl Maddox (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Dec 03 2002 - 10:44:29 EST
I think this is the wrong question. I think the correct question is not how
fast corals grow but rather how fast do coral reefs accumulate.
But to attempt to answer the question - as I understand it, we know how fast
corals grow because some of them at least have daily growth rings and montly
and annual growth variations of some type so that as you come up through the
geologic record we see more and more days per year. But keeping in mind the
daily, monthly, and annula variations in growth pattern, if I were wanting
to answer the question of how fast a coral grows I would not only measure
the current growth rate of live corals but also measure the change in the
size of the various species of fossil corals per unit of time - daily,
monthly, and annual and continue doing this for enough of individuals of
various species to get specie specific averages and standard deviations and
see how much variation there is between various species, genera etc. I
suspect this has already been done. But even if it has been done it is
irrelevant to the question of how fast a reef builds because of the
previously pointed out continuous interaction between the growth process of
the live corals and the destsruction/accumulation process of wave action,
storms, and variations in sea level. How to anwer the question of how fast
coral reefs have accumulated in the past I leave to others becuase other
than guessing it might be done somehow with isotope geochemistry or some of
the newer radioactive decay schemes I have no idea how to do it except in
the unusual case where you might have the base of a coral on a well
established time horizon and the top sticking slightly through another well
established time horizon.
Ok I am neither a paleontologist nor a geochronologist so how far off base
am I? These are both interesting questions and I would like to know how
much work has been done on answering either of them and I suspect someone on
this list knows more than they have said so far :-)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Wayne Shelton" <email@example.com>
To: "John Burgeson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 11:29 AM
> So, what is the average growth of certian other corals?
> John Burgeson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> This week's "helpful YEC missive" from AIG says:
> "Q: Doesn't it take millions of years for coral reefs to form?
> A: If Noah's Flood occurred only about 4,500 years ago, as the Bible
> indicates, then the coral reefs, such as the famous Great Barrier Reef in
> Australia, must be less than 4,500 years old.
> At one of the the Barrier Reef's underwater observatories great clumps of
> coral are already growing on the large anchor chains! This has certainly
> not taken millions of years.
> Also, there's some fascinating research on coral growth conducted by
> Australian scientists. They found that the average growth of certain
> corals was over a half an inch per year. Now, the deepest part of the
> Great Barrier Reef is around 180 feet. At this growth rate, the entire
> reef could be explained in less than four thousand years--which fits the
> Biblical date of the Flood!"
> Anyone know the obvious answer to this one?
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