Edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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Credit: TONY BUXTON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The shallows (foreground) reveal submerged coral, and beyond the wave zone the Australian continental shelf drops to deep water. A reef is a ridge or island chain that projects above the sea during tidal cycles. A barrier reef is one which develops offshore so that a deep lagoon is formed between the reef and the mainland coastline. Stretching 2000km long and 50-150km offshore the Great Barrier Reef is the longest of its kind and the largest accumulation of coral known. Photograph is an aerial view taken off the Queensland coast.

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Keywords: australia, barrier reef, continental, coral reef, environment, geography, great barrier, great barrier reef, reef, shelf

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