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sensor testing coral

Warm days and cool nights

This Red Sea coral reef, located west of Saudi Arabia, is being monitored as part of a collaborative project with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).  Using the data from sensors, and modeling, researchers hope to better understand the mechanisms of water and heat exchange across the boundary of this reef, and similar reefs in the area.  Because these reefs have shallow tops, about one meter deep, they tend to become warmer during the day and cooler at the night than the surrounding water.  Using the data collected thus far, researchers have found that the water exchange across the reef boundary is generally quite rapid, typically flushing the reef top in about an hour, and is likely driven by a combination of wind and wave driven flows.

(Photo by Jim Churchill, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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