Types of Coral Reefs

Types of coral reefs 25

If you see a coral bed, you will be overwhelmed by a vast treasure of land. Variations may sometimes be a little difficult to distinguish, as coral reefs may all appear to bear the same wonder.
Coral reefs usually develop in shallow and warm water, but their geographical location could differ as long as it is near a land area. Tropical areas are favorable areas for coral reefs to form because of the water temperature. It is usually due to the difference in which area they are formed that causes the difference in their appearance and quality.
To be able to understand the varieties of coral reefs, it is important to note that corals reefs come in two different forms. These are the hard corals and soft corals. Hard corals form the basis of any coral reef since they grow with hard, limestone skeleton. Some corals dwell in reefs but do not at all temporarily plant themselves into the sea bed. These are the soft corals, usually made up of soft, glutinous materials that have also contributed as the seabed for creatures. Corals are marine animals, usually small in size, usually dwelling under-water in colonies. It is a huge colony of these creatures that make up a coral reef.
As mentioned, reefs differ in form due to the differences in their geographical locations. The identified basic types of coral reefs are as follows:
Fringing reefs. In most cases, the fringing reefs are young. Geographical changes through time may result in their reformation into another kind of reef. Generally, they do not contain a substantial lagoon and may merely form narrow platforms. This is usually the favorite for snorkeling enthusiasts and for anyone who would want to take a peek at nature’s underwater wonderland but prefers not going too far away from the land area. These reefs form along a coastline and merely grow on the continental shelf of shallow water, thus making it more prone to destruction as they could be the easiest to access by human beings.
Barrier reefs, like fringing reefs, grow parallel to shorelines. They are farther out from the land as compared to the fringing reefs. As long as the depth of the seabed is shallow enough to allow the growth and development of corals, barrier reefs may grow off the shore. Usually, they are separated from the dry area by a deep lagoon, a coastal body of water formed where low-lying rock, sand, or coral presents a partial barrier to the open sea. They may sometimes hinder easy navigation of the lagoon because these kinds of reefs, the barrier reefs, form a barrier between the lagoon and the seas. Great Barrier Reef in Australia is reportedly the most famous barrier reef in the world, stretching over 2300 km and covering over 200’000 km2. From the main continent, it lies between 24 and 240 km.
Another type of coral reef is the Corals Atolls. Old under-water volcanoes are typically the bed for this type of coral reef as they may form rings of corals on top of the volcano. These reefs are generally the results of the evolution of fringe reefs surrounding a volcanic island. As a volcano sinks eventually, the reef will still continue to grow until only the reef remains Coral growth around these areas may be attributed to the warm temperature, which is ideal for the growth of corals. They may grow around any kind of land formation, ideally of rubble and sand. These reefs will allow the lagoons around them to have colder and freshwater. There are also some atolls, however, which are not formed by sinking islands, as mentioned above. Theories have been made that rising sea levels may have also caused atolls to form.

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