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Location And Distribution Of Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are found in around 100 countries around the world or even more. Most reefs are located between the Tropics....

Coral reefs are found in around 100 countries around the world or even more. Most reefs are located between the Tropics, in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf. Corals are also found farther in places where warm currents flow out of the tropics, such as in Florida and southern Japan.
Coral reefs cover an estimated 284,300 square kilometers worldwide.

Coral reefs located in India
  • India with its coastline of 7,517 km and subtropical climatic conditions has coral reef areas along its coastline and islands.
  • All the three major reef types, atoll, fringing, and barrier, occur in India.
  • Indian coral reefs exist in Gulf of Kutch, Gulf of Mannar, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep Islands, and Malvan.
  • The Gulf of Kutch in the northwest, which has some of the most northerly reefs in the world) and Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar in the southeast.
  • Ratnagiri, Malvan, and Redi, south of Bombay, along with the Gaveshani Bank, west of Mangalore, host coral patches.
  • Corals along the shore are found at Quilon on the Kerala coast to Enayem in Tamilnadu.
  • Corals also occur on the east coast between Parangipettai (Porto Novo), south of Cuddalore, and Pondicherry.
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with their fringing and barrier corals, as well as Lakshadweep Islands with their atolls, host island corals.
Distribution of Coral reefs in India
  • Gulf of kutch and Mannar: The Gulf of Kutch in the north west, has some of the most northerly reefs in the world.Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar have fringing reefs around small islands in the southeast, hosting coral reefs.
  • Coral IslandsAndaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands have extensive reef growth in India. Andaman and Nicobar Islands have fringing reefs and a 320 km barrier reef on the west coast. The Lakshadweep Islands consist of atolls, which are roughly circular rings of reefs surrounding a lagoon.
  • Other regions: There are patches of reef in the intertidal areas of the central west coast of the country. Coral patches exist in intertidal regions of Ratnagiri, Malvan, Redi, south of Bombay, and at Gaveshana Bank in Mangalore. Hermatypic corals are found along the shore in the Kerala coast and in Tamilnadu.
Coral reefs are absent on the west coast of tropical continents because of:
  • Presence of Cold coastal currents:g. on the west coast of Americas (Peru cold current), west coast of Africa (Benguela cold current and Canary current), West coast of Australia ( west Australian cold current)
  • Coral reefs do not flourish in the cold currents due to the upwelling of the cold water from depths that cools the warm surface water (corals can’t survive in cold waters). The ideal temperature for corals is 20 degrees C.
Frequently asked questions related to the location and distribution of coral reefs:
Ques 1. Where are coral reefs typically found?

Ans.Coral reefs commonly occur in tropical and subtropical regions, forming a band around 30 degrees latitude from the equator. Coral reefs are commonly found in the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Red Sea. Notable coral reef locations include the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Maldives, and the Florida Keys.

Ques 2. What factors determine the distribution of coral reefs within these regions?

Ans. Factors influencing coral reef distribution include water temperature, light availability, depth, nutrient availability, ocean currents, and geological features.

Ques 3. Are there any unique or unusual locations where coral reefs can be found?

Ans. Unique coral reefs exist in cold-water environments like Norwegian fjords, off Scotland’s coast, and in brackish or estuarine areas.

Location And Distribution Of Coral Reefs,Location And Distribution Of Coral Reefs

Read Also : Types Of Formations Of Coral Reef

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