Emigrate to Australia – Great Barrier Reef28 August 2016 by News Desk
Emigrate to Australia: Researchers have discovered a vast reef behind the existing Great Barrier Reef.
Emigrate to Australia: New laser-radar data from the Royal Australian Navy has revealed vast fields of strange doughnut-shaped circular mounds up to 300 metres across and 10 metres deep.
The newly-discovered reef is thought to extend for over 6,000 square kilometres. It was discovered via the use of LiDAR-equipped aircraft.
“We’ve known about these geological structures in the northern Great Barrier Reef since the 1980s but never before has the true nature of their shape, size and vast scale been revealed,” said Dr Robin Beaman of James Cook University.
“The seafloor behind the familiar coral reefs amazed us”.
The fields of circular donut-shaped rings are Halimeda bioherms, large reef-like geological structures formed by the growth of Halimeda, a common green algae composed of living calcified segments.
Emigrate to Australia – Great Barrier Reef
These form small limestone flakes on death, looking much like white cornflakes. Over time these flakes build up into large reef-like mounds, or bioherms.
They form a significant habitat which covers an area greater than the adjacent coral reefs.
Researchers have so far mapped over 6,000 square kilometres. That is three times the previously estimated size, ranging from the Torres Strait to north of Port Douglas.
Researchers want to find out what the 10-20 metre thick sediments reveal about past climate and environmental change on the Great Barrier Reef over a 10,000 year time-scale.
Future research will require sediment coring, sub-surface geophysical surveys and using underwater vehicle technologies to reveal the physical, chemical and biological processes of the structures.
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