The Woes of the Amazon Coral Reef

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The mouth of the Amazon river, which can be found towards the north of the iconic rainforest, is one of the busiest places on the planet. Within a year, six trillion cubes of water will end up in the Atlantic ocean, along with one 1.1 billion tons of sediment, equal to the mass of approximately 1.5 million Christ the Redeemer statues.

A giant plume can be seen, offering a spectacular vista. Research has shown that it makes the water more acid, decreases the amount of oxygen and salt, and offers valuable data about the river.

In 2016 a team of researchers confirmed a theory that surfaced in the 1970s and argued that under the plume, there is a massive reef. The Amazon Reef is a vast and valuable ecological system, but it is under threat due to oil expansion.

The Woes of the Amazon Coral Reef

A rough estimation infers that the Amazon Coral Reef is as big as Nova Scotia. It starts between the borders of French Guiana and spans up to the Maranhão state. Most of it is hidden in darkness, and the lowest areas can be found at more than 200 meters below the surface.

Within the reef, we can find a collection of sponges, corals, impressive walls of coralline algae, and rhodoliths. Rhodoliths are an agglomeration of red algae nodules which have the shape of giant beds and serve as a veritable nexus of biodiversity while also being valuable carbonate deposits.

A vast population of fish and lobsters rely on the Amazon Coral Reef as a source of food, while artisanal fishers and larger marine animals harness them as an excellent food source. In 2018, scientists paid by politicians and oil industry representatives questioned the existence of the reef. A new study reinforces the fact that the reef is real and filled with living organisms. However, its well-being is threatened by oil companies who wish to expand in the Amazon Basin.

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.