The statistics of natural shapes in modern coral reef landscapes

Sam Purkis, Kevin E. Kohler, Bernhard M. Riegl, Steven O. Rohmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spatial heterogeneity is a fundamental characteristic of modern and ancient depositional settings, and the scaling of many carbonate environments has been shown to follow power function distributions. The difficulty in obtaining information on the horizontal persistence of sedimentary lithotopes at the basin scale has, however, hampered evaluation of this fact over larger geographic areas. In recent years, large-scale maps of reef facies derived from remotely sensed data have become widely available, allowing for an analysis of reef-scale map products from 26 sites spread through four reef provinces, covering >7000 km2 of shallow-water habitat in the U.S. territorial Pacific. For each site, facies maps were decomposed to polygons describing the perimeter of patches of differing sedimentologic/benthic character. A suite of geospatial metrics quantifying unit shape, fractal dimension, and frequency-area relations was applied to investigate the intra- and intersite variability. The spatial architecture of these reef sites displays robust fractal properties over an extended range of scales with remarkable consistency between provinces. These results indicate the possibility of extrapolating information from large to small scales in various depositional environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-508
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geology
Volume115
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

coral reef
reef
polygon
depositional environment
shallow water
persistence
carbonate
statistics
habitat
basin
province

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

The statistics of natural shapes in modern coral reef landscapes. / Purkis, Sam; Kohler, Kevin E.; Riegl, Bernhard M.; Rohmann, Steven O.

In: Journal of Geology, Vol. 115, No. 5, 01.09.2007, p. 493-508.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Purkis, Sam ; Kohler, Kevin E. ; Riegl, Bernhard M. ; Rohmann, Steven O. / The statistics of natural shapes in modern coral reef landscapes. In: Journal of Geology. 2007 ; Vol. 115, No. 5. pp. 493-508.
@article{9399d080a7934bedbc4623531ac739c4,
title = "The statistics of natural shapes in modern coral reef landscapes",
abstract = "Spatial heterogeneity is a fundamental characteristic of modern and ancient depositional settings, and the scaling of many carbonate environments has been shown to follow power function distributions. The difficulty in obtaining information on the horizontal persistence of sedimentary lithotopes at the basin scale has, however, hampered evaluation of this fact over larger geographic areas. In recent years, large-scale maps of reef facies derived from remotely sensed data have become widely available, allowing for an analysis of reef-scale map products from 26 sites spread through four reef provinces, covering >7000 km2 of shallow-water habitat in the U.S. territorial Pacific. For each site, facies maps were decomposed to polygons describing the perimeter of patches of differing sedimentologic/benthic character. A suite of geospatial metrics quantifying unit shape, fractal dimension, and frequency-area relations was applied to investigate the intra- and intersite variability. The spatial architecture of these reef sites displays robust fractal properties over an extended range of scales with remarkable consistency between provinces. These results indicate the possibility of extrapolating information from large to small scales in various depositional environments.",
author = "Sam Purkis and Kohler, {Kevin E.} and Riegl, {Bernhard M.} and Rohmann, {Steven O.}",
year = "2007",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1086/519774",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "115",
pages = "493--508",
journal = "Journal of Geology",
issn = "0022-1376",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The statistics of natural shapes in modern coral reef landscapes

AU - Purkis, Sam

AU - Kohler, Kevin E.

AU - Riegl, Bernhard M.

AU - Rohmann, Steven O.

PY - 2007/9/1

Y1 - 2007/9/1

N2 - Spatial heterogeneity is a fundamental characteristic of modern and ancient depositional settings, and the scaling of many carbonate environments has been shown to follow power function distributions. The difficulty in obtaining information on the horizontal persistence of sedimentary lithotopes at the basin scale has, however, hampered evaluation of this fact over larger geographic areas. In recent years, large-scale maps of reef facies derived from remotely sensed data have become widely available, allowing for an analysis of reef-scale map products from 26 sites spread through four reef provinces, covering >7000 km2 of shallow-water habitat in the U.S. territorial Pacific. For each site, facies maps were decomposed to polygons describing the perimeter of patches of differing sedimentologic/benthic character. A suite of geospatial metrics quantifying unit shape, fractal dimension, and frequency-area relations was applied to investigate the intra- and intersite variability. The spatial architecture of these reef sites displays robust fractal properties over an extended range of scales with remarkable consistency between provinces. These results indicate the possibility of extrapolating information from large to small scales in various depositional environments.

AB - Spatial heterogeneity is a fundamental characteristic of modern and ancient depositional settings, and the scaling of many carbonate environments has been shown to follow power function distributions. The difficulty in obtaining information on the horizontal persistence of sedimentary lithotopes at the basin scale has, however, hampered evaluation of this fact over larger geographic areas. In recent years, large-scale maps of reef facies derived from remotely sensed data have become widely available, allowing for an analysis of reef-scale map products from 26 sites spread through four reef provinces, covering >7000 km2 of shallow-water habitat in the U.S. territorial Pacific. For each site, facies maps were decomposed to polygons describing the perimeter of patches of differing sedimentologic/benthic character. A suite of geospatial metrics quantifying unit shape, fractal dimension, and frequency-area relations was applied to investigate the intra- and intersite variability. The spatial architecture of these reef sites displays robust fractal properties over an extended range of scales with remarkable consistency between provinces. These results indicate the possibility of extrapolating information from large to small scales in various depositional environments.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=34548604272&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=34548604272&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/519774

DO - 10.1086/519774

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:34548604272

VL - 115

SP - 493

EP - 508

JO - Journal of Geology

JF - Journal of Geology

SN - 0022-1376

IS - 5

ER -