Coral Reefs

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Coral reefs in India

Coral reefs are found in marine waters. These aragonite structures are produced by living animal colonies in the marine environment. In most healthy reefs, stony corals are predominant. Stony corals are built from colonial polyps that secrete an exoskeleton of calcium carbonate. Reefs grow best in shallow, clear, sunny and agitated sea-waters. The accumulation of skeletal material, broken and piled up by wave action and bioeroders, produces formation that supports the living corals and a great variety of other animal and plant life.

Most coral reefs were formed after the last glacial period when melting ice caused the sea level to rise and flood the continental shelves. This means that most coral reefs are less than 10,000 years old. As coral reef communities were established on the shelves, they built reefs that grew upwards, keeping pace with the rise in sea level. Coral reefs are also found in the deep sea away from the continental shelves, around oceanic islands and as atolls. The vast majority of these ocean coral islands are volcanic in origin. The few exceptions have tectonic origins where plate movements have lifted the deep ocean floor on the surface.

 

Coral reefs in India

Location

State

Area (km²)

1

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

 

2

Gulf of Mannar

Tamil Nadu

 

3

Gulf of Kutch

Gujarat

 

4

Lakshadweep Islands

Lakshadweep Islands

 

Pic: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 February 2010 16:29

 


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