Deep corals discovered on Great Barrier Reef

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Deep corals discovered on Great Barrier Reef

Beitrag von mare-mundi Redaktion » 05 Jan 2013 12:24

Deep corals discovered on Great Barrier Reef

A new exploration by a remote-operated submersible has found the reef's deepest coral yet.

:arrow: http://www.xray-mag.com/content/deep-co ... rrier-reef

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The coral Leptoseris is living 410 feet (125 meters) below the ocean's surface, a discovery that expedition leader
Pim Bongaerts of the University of Queensland called "mind-blowing."

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Kyra Hay sorting Coral samples
Credit: © Catlin Seaview Survey

Bongaerts and his colleagues received funding from insurer the Catlin Group Limited to explore the Great Barrier Reef as part of an effort to understand how climate change is altering the oceans.

The Catlin Seaview Survey is a game-changing scientific study which aims to reveal the life and science of our oceans for all to see. Starting with the Great Barrier Reef, reefs around the world will be captured like never before, in high-resolution, 360 degree panoramic vision, producing a benchmark for the scientific community to monitor change and for the public at large to experience unprecedented accessibility to our oceans through ‘virtual diving’.

On the outer edge of the Ribbon Reefs, off the northern Great Barrier Reef, the researchers hit unusually calm seas and were able to deploy a remote-operated vehicle, or ROV, off the edge of the Australian continental shelf, where the ocean floor plummets hundreds of feet.

The team brought one precious Leptoseris coral sample back to sea level. Typically, such corals peter out in the Great Barrier Reef above 330 feet (100 m), replaced by non-light-dependent sponges and sea fans. Using the ROV, the team also found the deepest Staghorn Acropora, a type of coral that makes up the majority of most of the world's reefs.

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