Huge coral reef discovered at Amazon river mouth


**A huge 3,600 sq mile (9,300 sq km) coral reef system has been found below the muddy waters off the mouth of the river Amazon, astonishing scientists, governments and oil companies who have started to explore on top of it.

The existence of the 600-mile long reef, which ranges from about 30-120m deep and stretches from French Guiana to Brazil’s Maranhão state, was not suspected because many of the world’s great rivers produce major gaps in reef systems where no corals grow.**

The article continues at the link.


Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.



that is a very long coral reef! but what does it signify?


Now they have a reason not to allow oil drilling that was planned for the area :shrug:


perhaps. is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia a coral reef? why are they protected?


Cool! Hopefully the powers that be will conserve it, since it’ll bring in more tourist dollars.


The Great Barrier Reef is a coral reef. It’s protected for a few reasons - one is that its unique in its size. Secondly it’s an important ecological system in its own right. Third it’s beautiful if you’ve got the chance to get there. Fourth it protects the mid to north Queensland coast from a lot of erosion, as it prevents most ocean waves from getting through (Queensland doesn’t have much surf once you get north of Fraser island, whereas NSW has surfing beaches almost all the way along it’s coast line). Fifth it brings in a lot of tourism dollars.

At the moment there’s a lot of concern about coral bleaching on sections of the Great Barrier Reef. The jury seems to be out on whether it will recover or not, but it’s a real threat.

Wikipedia - The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.


The Central American Barrier Reef, second to Australia’s in size, is also protected, but only in parts, as it borders four countries (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras). Protection is crucial as these systems are far more vulnerable than the physical size would suggest.

Scientifically, the Brazilian reef system may be unique in being adapted to fresher water than most such systems. The Amazon outflow remains fresh for almost 300 miles from land.

I doubt anybody will be diving it though, as the currents would be ferocious.



I think the visibility wouldn’t be anything to write home about either. North Queensland doesn’t have much river flow most of the year, other than when the cyclones hit. So the offshore water is usually clear.


Just goes to show how much of the world there is left to discover. I use to watch shows about gold mining and how they mine small flakes from tons of dirt. It got me wondering whether there is some mile long piece of gold somewhere on the planet that just hasn’t been discovered. After all, how do we know there isn’t a huge boulder of gold buried deep in a Siberian forest?


It certainly was amazing to read about this in the news. Really does point out how much we don’t understand about our planet.

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