New Delhi: A team of Australian scientists have recently discovered an enormous coral reef ecosystem hidden behind the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland.
Researchers said that this brand new coral system is stretched over 6,000 square kilometers of the seafloor which is almost three times the previously estimated size of the reef.
Mardi McNeil, the lead author of the paper and a researcher at the Queensland University of Technology claim that the newly found reef system forms a significant inter-reef habitat which covers an area greater than the adjacent coral reefs.
The strange donout-shaped mounds was discovered with the help of Navy aircraft outfitted with laser that created high-resolution maps of the seafloor.
The mound spotted are Halimeda- a common type of green algea composed of living calcified segments. The discoverey of this vast, living coral reef system raises a lot of questions about the change in Earth's oceanic conditions in the past few decades.
The findings, published in Coral Reefs, reveal that Halimeda is sensitive to the acidification and warming of sea.
This means these bioherms can unfold the secrets of damage caused by the shift in environmental conditions in the last 10,000 years and can also provide a deep insight into the life pattern of marine life currently existing in the area.