In February 2013, this reef was surveyed for a project studying the coral communities on submerged reefs in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Very little, if anything, is known about these reef systems, and this study was the first to assess what was living there. Submerged reefs do not reach the surface, and the chosen survey sites had a minimum depth of 10 metres, and were surveyed to 30m. This video shows the reef ridge at 10-12m depth on one of the survey sites (Oropesa Reef, off Cairns).
We found diverse and thriving coral ecosystems, that clearly form a major part of the Great Barrier Reef coral habitat, but are still almost unknown. How these ecosystems are dealing with increasing environmental threats, and even where they occur is still a pressing scientific issue.
It is impressive that even the Great Barrier Reef still has so many treasures and secrets that we are still only just starting to discover. To see the full publication, use the link below.
Roberts TE, Moloney JM, Sweatman HPA, Bridge TCL. Benthic community structure on submerged reefs in the central Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs; DOI 10.1007/s00338-015-1261-7