About this report
The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities commissioned Geoscience Australia to further define, map and describe the geological and geomorphological features of Outstanding Universal Value in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, listed under criterion viii of the Operational Guidelines to the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
The report identifies eighteen broad feature types and provides further detail on representative examples and best examples of each feature type. Many of these feature types are also identified attributes for the other criteria for which the property was listed. The report is a preliminary examination of these features and additional work will be required to further refine the analysis.
In addition, Geoscience Australia provided an initial sensitivity analysis which outlines how pressures identified in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's 2009 Outlook Report could affect the identified features, with climate change found to be the most concerning pressure. Ribbon reefs, deltaic reefs and northern detached reefs are identified as being the most sensitive and at risk to climate change, with their location on the continental shelf exposing them to high energy impacts from extreme weather.