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Home / Science / A giant pumice floating in the Pacific could heal Australia's Great Barrier Reef

A giant pumice floating in the Pacific could heal Australia's Great Barrier Reef



The massive, floating volcanic rock layer was first seen by seafarers on 9 August after an underwater volcano erupted near the Pacific Island of Tonga, according to the NASA Earth Observatory.

Days later, Australian sailors heading for Vanatu with the ROAM catamaran reported encountering volcanic rock "made of pumice stones from marble to basketball and no water visible" that they were at sea for 10 days before They came in contact with the gray floating matter one evening.

"Actually, it was pretty scary," Larissa said. "The whole ocean was dull – we could not see the water reflection of the moon."

"The rocks closed around us so that we could not see our track or wake at all, could only see the edge where there was normal water again at night ̵

1; shiny water, "Michael added, saying they could see the rock from every direction.

" It was a bit puzzling, we did not know how deep it was when we came across a volcano sailed, who was active at that moment. It almost looked like more was coming up and gushing from below, "Larissa said.

The pumice, filled with holes and cavities, floats like an iceberg, with about 90% underwater and 10% underwater the pair.

It is expected that the pumice will drift with the current to the Australian coast in the next 7 to 10 months, with scientists believing that this could have a positive effect on the microorganisms there.

That's because that the floating stones can serve as a nesting place for marine organisms.

When the pumice finds its way to the Great Barrier Reef, the clinging marine life travels and possibly brings various new colonies of barnacles, corals and more.

Im In 2012, research by Scott Bryan, associate professor at Queensland University of Technology, and others found out about a similar volcanic underwater event that pumice rafts are a way to redistribute the diverse life in the sea.

The outbreak of this month could have similar benefits, Bryan said.

  Dead corals do not make babies: Great Barrier Reef loses its ability to recover from bleaching.

Bryan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Friday: "[The raft] is a natural mechanism for Bringing in the colonization of species in a new environment and growing, "and that's just one way that nature can promote regeneration." Bryan also said that the natural phenomenon occurs every five years.

He told ABC that the pumice raft, when it arrives on the Australian coast in the next seven to twelve months, "will be covered with a number of seaweed and barnacle organisms, corals, crabs, snails and worms."

"In this way Healthy, young corals can be quickly introduced into the Great Barrier Reef, "he said.

In 2016 and 2017, marine heatwaves caused by climate change increased bleaching that killed about half of the coral reefs on the Great Barrier Reef and many others around the world.

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