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Coral reefs are warm, clear, shallow ocean habitatsthat are rich in life. The reefs massive structure isformed from coral polyps, tiny animals that live incolonies; when coral polyps die, they leave behind ahard, stony, branching structure made of limestone.
3 types of coral reefs:1. Fringing reefs - are reefs that form along a coastline. They grow on the continental shelf in shallow water. The fringing reef pictured here surrounds much of the Polynesian island of Mooréa.
2. Barrier Reefs - Barrier reefs grow parallel toshorelines, but farther out, usually separatedfrom the land by a deep lagoon. Great Barrier Island, Australia
3. Coral Atolls - are rings of coral that grow on top of old,sunken volcanoes in the ocean. They begin as fringe reefssurrounding a volcanic island; then, as the volcano sinks, the reefcontinues to grow, and eventually only the reef remains.
What are Coral Reefs…
Trench - Narrow channels (deepestplaces on Earth) “pinched” bysubduction.
Rift Valley - Runs along the center of the M.O.R.formed by faulting as magma pushed upward.
Mid-ocean Ridge - Thetopographic expression of sea floorspreading centers and divergentplate boundaries.
Volcano – cone like feature formed from theuprising of molten rock.
Island – a body of land surrounded bywater. Loihi is a new island forming off the Big Island Of Hawaii about 30 miles South west of Kilauea. Its summit is about 1000 meters below the oceans surface.
Mountain Range – a row of connected mountainsformed from lava solidifying from the MOR.
Seamount - Underwater mtn.s, usually volcanic.The biggest mtn. on earth is Mauna Loa (Hawaii)
What are Seamounts…
Guyots - Flat-topped seamounts,formed from being above sea level.
Hydrothermal Vents• Cracks in the ocean floor through which boiling hot, chemical-filled water flows.• Chimneys form around these vents, and organisms surround these vents using chemosynthesis to feed.
Under a microscope, a deep-sea worm’s tentacles—used for feeding—look like cooked spaghetti. WHOIscientists found this worm, called a terebellid, living athydrothermal vents on the Galápagos Rift off Ecuador.
Hydrothermal Vents – 5 min
Ocean Floor – the bottom of theocean.
A. Submarine CanyonB. Continental SlopeC. SeamountD. MORE. AtollF. Continental ShelfG. GuyotH. TrenchI. Abyssal PlainJ. Spreading Center or RiftK. Continental RiseL. Shoreline