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.

Related Articles


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 January 28, 2015 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 January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Wrongly categorized as lizard fossils, snake fossils now show the reptile could have developed earlier than we thought — 70 million years earlier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Time Lapse: Sculptures Created from 30 Tons of Snow

Time Lapse: Sculptures Created from 30 Tons of Snow

Rumble (Jan. 28, 2015) Students in North Finland use 30 tons of snow and one ton of ice to build a massive photography display and sculpture installation. Five days of work condensed into a one-minute time lapse! Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

Aquaponics Turn Suburban Industrial Park Into Farmland: Hume

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Ancient techniques of growing greens with fish and water are well ahead of Toronto bylaws. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Madagascar Locust Plague Could Mean Famine For Millions

Newsy (Jan. 27, 2015) The Food and Agriculture Organization says millions could face famine in Madagascar without more funding to finish locust eradication efforts. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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