Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Recently Discovered Reef Is Deepest Known Off Continental U.S.

Date:
January 5, 2005
Source:
U.S. Geological Survey
Summary:
A team of scientists has determined that a coral reef discovered in 1999 is the deepest reef ever found off the continental U.S., the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced today. The reef lies in approximately 250 feet of water off the coast of southwest Florida on a submerged barrier-island named Pulley Ridge. It is a significant discovery that may be unique. Besides hosting the reef, Pulley Ridge survived rising sea level and erosion from waves and currents.

Index map showing location of Pulley Ridge, a 100+ km-long series of N-S trending, drowned, barrier islands on the southwest Florida Shelf approximately 250 km west of Cape Sable, Florida.
Credit: Image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

A team of scientists has determined that a coral reef discovered in 1999 is the deepest reef ever found off the continental U.S., the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced today. The reef lies in approximately 250 feet of water off the coast of southwest Florida on a submerged barrier-island named Pulley Ridge. It is a significant discovery that may be unique. Besides hosting the reef, Pulley Ridge survived rising sea level and erosion from waves and currents.

Scientists and graduate students from the USGS and the University of South Florida (USF) found the hidden coral reef and diverse fish populations while conducting collaborative research west of the Dry Tortugas. Pulley Ridge was originally discovered in 1950, when an academic group from Texas conducted dredging and hauled in mollusks. USGS and USF researchers are using many new types of technologies to gather data, including one-person submarines and the USGS SeaBOSS (Sea Bottom Observation and Sampling System) submersible camera system.

The corals on Pulley Ridge are considerably healthier than corals from shallow-water reefs nearly worldwide, including the Florida Keys. Corals are normally found in shallower waters because they require large amounts of sunlight. But research shows that shallow corals are stressed and vulnerable to disease, global climate change, loss of habitat, and human activity.

“Although deeper-water corals form reefs in the dark of ocean depths, Pulley Ridge is the deepest photosynthetic coral reef that we know of today,” said Robert Halley, USGS marine geologist.

“Pulley Ridge is an area of particular environmental concern due to its unusual benthic community and fragile nature—living corals are easily disturbed. Activity such as removal of live-bottom materials for fish tanks would be particularly harmful,” said Albert Hine, Professor and Associate Dean of Research in the College of Marine Science at USF.

Remote-sensing images and numerous color photos of the seafloor, fish, and corals at Pulley Ridge are available online at http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/pulley-ridge/

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by U.S. Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

U.S. Geological Survey. "Recently Discovered Reef Is Deepest Known Off Continental U.S.." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104111943.htm>.
U.S. Geological Survey. (2005, January 5). Recently Discovered Reef Is Deepest Known Off Continental U.S.. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104111943.htm
U.S. Geological Survey. "Recently Discovered Reef Is Deepest Known Off Continental U.S.." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104111943.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Iceland has lowered its aviation alert on its largest volcano after a fresh eruption on a nearby lava field prompted authorities to enforce a flight ban for several hours. Duration: 01:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

AP (Sep. 1, 2014) A lightning strike injured three people on a New York City beach on Sunday. The storms also delayed flights and interrupted play at the US Open tennis tournament. (Sept. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) A study of almost 20 years' worth of satellite images shows Antarctic sea levels are on the rise as ice shelves continue to melt. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins