Coral Reefs and Surrounding Shallow-Water

Carbonate Environments, Bermuda:


Photo looking down from airplane window at the top of the Bermuda atoll (east side, opposite island).

Isolated coral knobs (smaller dark areas), patch reefs (coalesced coral knobs), and cup reefs (dark areas adjacent to atoll edge (where dark blue deep water starts).



View of the North Lagoon from the Henry Stommel looking toward North Rock. Isolated coral knobs (smaller dark areas) are visible in the foreground. In the distance waves are breaking on the rocks around the North Rock lighthouse as well as on the cup reefs that line the atoll edge.




One of the coral knobs (see photo above) on the atoll top that is dominated by brain coral (Diploria) and gorgonian soft coral colonies.



Large (approximately 14 inch long) blue parrot fish in front of a large cup reef (near North Rock). Smaller dark parrot fish are happily chomping away at the reef.

The cup reef consists mostly of coralline (red) algae, attached gastropods, and Montastrea annularis (encrusting tan-colored coral, lower left).




View of cup reefs (dark areas) just off shore at Warwick Long Beach. We snorkeled out from the beach to the reefs and experienced high-energy beach processes.







Bleached (white) fire coral (Millipora) colony at Bailey's Bay Flats surrounded by sea whips (soft coral) and brain coral colonies (Diploria).






Bleached (white) white area of this brain coral colony (Diploria) has been killed by black band disease (living "flesh-eating" bacteria, black color). The line of bacteria can sweep all the way across a colony completely destroying it, or stop after only part of the colony has been wiped out.



Typical reef crest community on a coral knob in the North Lagoon. The large purple-colored structures are sea fans (Gorgonia). The large sea fan in the middle of the photo is flanked on both sides by fire coral colonies (milliporids). There is a large (approximately 15 inches in diameter) brain coral (Diploria) colony and a Porities asteroides colony (lumpy area in lower right).



View looking down the side of a typical North Lagoon coral knob. There are several large (largest here is approximately 12 inches in diameter) brain coral (Diploria) colonies flanked by soft coral (sea whips). A large blue parrot fish is trying to hide from the underwater paparazzi.


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