There’s a Huge Geological Structure Hiding Behind the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef, Steve Parish/flickr/CC BY 2.0
Great Barrier Reef, Steve Parish/flickr/CC BY 2.0
A team of Aussie researchers has discovered an enormous reef behind the Great Barrier Reef which had been “hiding in plain sight” for decades.

By Daniel Oberhaus | MOTERBOARD

As the researchers detailed in a paper published this week in Coral Reefs, high-resolution seafloor maps created by Navy aircraft revealed a massive field of donut-shaped mounds. Each were between 600 to 1000 feet across, and some were 30 meters deep, according to data provided by the Royal Australian Navy.

“We’ve known about these geological structures in the northern Great Barrier Reef since the 1970s and 80s, but never before has the true nature of their shape, size and vast scale been revealed,” said Robin Beaman, a marine geologist at Australia’s James Cook University. “The deeper seafloor behind the familiar coral reefs amazed us.”

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