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Coral reef discovered in the Galápagos Marine Reserve with Alvin

In April 2023, scientists diving in the human-occupied submersible Alvin discovered extensive, ancient deep-sea coral reefs within the Galápagos Marine Reserve. Cresting the ridge of a previously-unmapped submerged volcano and stretching over several kilometers, the reef is located at 400-600 meters (1,310-1,970 feet) depth. Supporting a breathtaking array of marine life, these reefs are first of their kind to be documented since the marine protected area (MPA) was established in 1998.

In this video, Daniel Fornari, WHOI Emeritus Research Scholar and co-leader of the expedition, weighs in on the significance of the discovery, first recorded by Dr. Michelle Taylor (University of Essex, UK) and Dr. Stuart Banks (Charles Darwin Foundation, Ecuador)

The Galápagos Deep 2023 expedition included scientists at Boise State University (USA) and the University of Essex and University of Bristol (UK), in collaboration with the Galápagos National Park Directorate, Charles Darwin Foundation, and Ecuadorian Navy’s Oceanographic and Antarctic Institute (INOCAR). The expedition was funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) in the UK.

© Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


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