NEW AUSTRALIAN REEFS DISCOVERED

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NEW AUSTRALIAN REEFS DISCOVERED

 user 2005-04-25 at 9:22:00 am Views: 63
  • #9092
    New Australian reefs discovered





    Australian
    scientists have reported the discovery of coral reefs stretching 100km (62.5
    miles) in the Gulf of Carpentaria, off the north coast
    .

    They were located near Mornington Island, where deep murky water
    obscured them from the view of satellites.

    Researchers have called it a major discovery that showed how
    little was known about Australia’s continental shelf.

    The newly discovered reefs could be at least 100,000 years old.

    They were found inadvertently by scientists investigating a
    number of small reefs discovered on a previous expedition two years ago.

    Sonar mapping equipment has produced an accurate picture of what
    was previously hidden from the gaze of satellites.

    Researchers have said the discovery makes the Gulf of
    Carpentaria one of Australia’s most important coral zones.

    There could be as many as 50 small reefs, as well as this new
    long platform of coral that stretches for 100km to the west of Mornington
    Island.

    Scientists are confident that more large reefs could be hiding
    in the deep tropical water. Environmentalists have said that these sorts of
    reefs are among the most bio-diverse ecosystems on earth.

    They are urging the authorities to include them in a maritime
    national park being planned for the area.

    The renowned Great Barrier Reef off north-eastern Australia is
    home to 1,500 species of fish and is considered to be the world’s largest living
    structure.