Sunday, October 29, 2023

New Deep-Water Reefs Discovered Off Coast of Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands

Deep-Water Reefs Discovered Off Coast of Ecuador’s Galápagos

Ongoing efforts in the Galápagos Islands by the team of researchers is part of a larger project to analyze the archipelago's ecosystem.

Two large “pristine” coral reefs were discovered last week off the coast of the Galápagos Islands in South America, according to an international group of scientists at the Schmidt Ocean Institute.

In contrast to the shallow reefs scuba divers may be familiar with, deep-water reefs thrive without sunlight in cold, dark conditions. The ones recently discovered are as long as half a mile and rest a quarter of a mile beneath the surface on the ocean floor. They are said to be thousands of years old.

 The discovery was made by a remotely-operated vehicle examining the sea floor with laser scanners. Scientists say the high-resolution maps resulting from the discovery will aid in conservation of animals and future research.

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