Scientists discover a 500-metre-tall coral reef on the Great Barrier Reef
Australian scientists have discovered a massive detached coral reef just off Cape York on the Great Barrier Reef that’s taller than the Empire State Building or the Sydney Tower.
The scientists found the reef, which is more than 500m high, as they were mapping the northern Great Barrier Reef seabed from aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor.
“The base of the blade-like reef is 1.5km wide, then rises 500m to its shallowest depth of only 40m below the sea surface,” said Dr Tom Bridge, a Principal Investigator on the expedition who is based at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (CoralCoE at JCU). Dr Bridge is also Senior Curator of Corals at the Queensland Museum.
It’s the first detached reef found in more than 120 years. “This newly discovered detached reef adds to the seven other tall detached reefs in the area—all otherwise mapped in the late 1800s,” Dr Bridge said. (More)