Home / Science / A huge raft of volcanic rock is floating to Australia, and that's good news

A huge raft of volcanic rock is floating to Australia, and that's good news

A giant floating raft of volcanic rock, resulting from an underwater volcanic eruption in the Pacific, is slowly drifting towards the Australian coast and hopes it could benefit the endangered Great Barrier Reef.

The massive pumice raft – over 20,000 football fields in size and made of volcanic rock light enough to float on the surface of the water – only appeared a few weeks ago after a suspected underwater volcanic eruption near Tonga.

Satellite footage first revealed the gigantic formation on the water surface on August 9, according to reports of the then-sailors.

However, the most notable observations came from the crew of the Australian adventure catamaran ROAM drifting amidst the vast mass of floating rocks that "completely cover the ocean surface".

 017 Pumice Raft 2 (NASA Earth Observatory / Joshua Stevens)

from stones of marble to basketball size, so that water was not visible, "wrote the sailors in a Facebook post.

"The debris slide went as far as we could see in the moonlight and with our headlights. "

same style o The experience was reported by sailor Shannon Lenz, who posted incredible footage of sailing through the Rock Raft on YouTube:

" We sailed in for 6-8 hours Pumice field, much of the time there was no visible water, "wrote Lenz.

" It was like plowing through a field. We thought the pumice was at least 6 inches thick. "

While the volcanic phenomenon could pose a danger to other ships, the news is welcomed by the rafting of scientists, especially as the pumice propels the eastern coast of Australia.

" This is one possible mechanism for refilling the Great Barrier Reef, "says geologist Scott Bryan of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

" Based on previous pumice raft events we've studied Over the past 20 years, new healthy corals and other reef inhabitants have become a Great Barrier Reef brought. "

 017 Pumice Raft 2 ROAM Sailor Michael Hoult with pumice samples (Sail Surf ROAM / Facebook)

According to Bryan and other QUT researchers The floating rock-cut is expected to drift through New Caledonia and Vanuatu and possibly through coral reef areas in the eastern coral sea.

] Importantly, this should be done at about the same time that the region is spawned by spawning the main coral throughout the year goes, which could turn the rocky pumice stone into a wandering ecosystem.

"At the moment, the pumice stone will be bare and barren, but over the sea. In the next few weeks, organisms will be bound to it," says Bryan.

"It will be able to pick up corals and other reef-building organisms and then bring them to the Great Barrier Reef. Each piece of pumice is a rafting vehicle. It is a home and vehicle for marine organisms to travel across the deep ocean to Australia.

While the pumice and its payload of algae, barnacles, coral and other marine life have the potential to partially help others claim we need to regenerate the Great Barrier Reef organic matter to keep track of these benefits. "Reefs will disappear if we do not take action against anthropogenic warming, "marine biologist Terry Hughes of James Cook University tweeted on the media coverage of the pumice stone.

" The coral reef crisis is not caused by a robot, fans, plastic coral or an aquarium solved – we have to fight the causes, especially the greenhouse gas emissions. "

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