Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Coral Reef Landscape

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_408
This is a landscape consisting of reef structures in a marine environment composed of accumulated calcareous remains of reef-building corals and biological remains of lime algae. Coral reefs mainly consist of coral polyps, which are a marine coelenterate. During their growth, they absorb calcium and carbon dioxide in seawater and secrete calcium carbonate to form shells for their survival. Each polyp is only the size of a rice grain. They gather in groups to form a colony and bond together with the secreted calcium carbonate over many generations. When compacted and petrified, the calcium carbonate forms islands or coral reefs. They are common in the oceans between 30° N and 30° S latitude; in particular, there are many in the central and western Pacific. Based on the morphology, coral reefs can be divided into fringing reefs (coastal reefs), barrier reefs, atolls, table reefs and the transitional types. The world’s coral reefs and coral islands have an estimated total surface area of...
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