May 20, 2020
The dead(ish) reef flats. This is Lodestone Reef off Townsville and it is absolutely fabulous. But a lot of coral has been lost - in the last 3000 years. Most people don’t know that the sea-level has fallen by about 1 meter in this time, so the coral that was close to the water surface back then is now exposed to the air during many low tides. Corals don’t like air exposure. In this picture the “reef-flat” is relatively less live coral compared to the coral that can be seen in the blue water at the front of the reef. Behind the reef flat the white coral sand is interspersed with patches of coral. If the sea-level rises, as is often claimed due to climate change, there will be an explosion of coral on the reef flat.
This is one of the 3000 reefs of the GBR. There is no other reef system that comes close to the scale or magnitude of the GBR or is as pristine and well protected.
BTW, if you have family and friends in the city, please recommend these posts. It is important that city folk get a good idea of how the GBR works and that it is in good condition.
Picture from Shutterstock