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Science. 1987 Dec 18;238(4834):1697-700.

Horizontal plate motion: a key allocyclic factor in the evolution of the great barrier reef.


The Great Barrier Reef complex of northeastern Australia thins dramatically and becomes younger from north to south. These variations are a consequence of the Cenozoic northward movement of the Indian-Australian plate. The temperate climatic conditions that applied off northeast Australia during the early Tertiary were progressively replaced by tropical conditions. The present-day south-to-north facies distribution along the eastern Australian continental margin mimics the Cenozoic vertical facies sequence through the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef region.

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