Coral death near Indonesia – 04/13/2007

  • November 27, 2013 at 11:49 pm #1469

    from rocky:

    A survey by the Wildlife Conservation Society has revealed the world’s largest mass death of corals ever recorded. The trigger the scientists say was the earthquake in Aceh, Indonesia on March 28, 2005.

    The team of scientists surveyed the reefs at 35 sites along 372 miles of coastline, documenting for the first time the effect of earthquake uplift on corals. They found that the tsunami-triggering earthquake caused the entire island of Simeulue to uplift by 3.9 feet, exposing most of the coral reefs that ringed the island.

    “This is a story of mass mortality on a scale rarely observed. In contrast to other threats like coral bleaching, none of the corals uplifted by the earthquake have survived,” one of the researchers Stuart Campbell said.

    The exposed coral reefs could help scientists understand reef recovery. “Amazingly, the uplifted corals are so well preserved we could still identify each species, despite these colonies having been exposed for two years,” said study team member Andrew Baird.

    “This is a unique opportunity to document a process that occurs maybe once a century and promises to provide new insights into coral recovery processes that until now we could only explore on fossil reefs” says Dr Baird.

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