Pumice stone floating in Pacific could heal Great Barrier Reef

Earlier this month, NASA satellites took photos of a huge "pumice raft" floating near Tonga, evidence of a recent underwater volcano eruption.

While the volcanic phenomenon could constitute a sailing hazard for other vessels, news of the raft formation is being welcomed by scientists, especially since the pumice slick is drifting towards the east coast of Australia.

Organisms such as algae, barnacles, snails, crabs and possibly even corals could attach themselves to the pumice raft, serving as a "natural mechanism for species to colonize, restock and grow in a new environment", Bryan said. "The whole ocean was matte".

Experts at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia are hopeful that the floating sheet of pumice rocks will help replenish lost marine life in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Hoult describes the rocks as "closing in" around their catamaran.

"The rubble slick went as far as we could see in the moonlight and with our spotlight", the crew wrote on Facebook.

According to a study published in April, baby coral in the 1,400-mile-long reef have declined by 89% due to mass bleaching in 2016 and 2017.

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According to Bryan, the raft of volcanic rock will arrive at the Australian shores in about seven months, passing by New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and touching the eastern Coral Sea along its way.

Generally, Bryan said, corals "need to reach a reproductive age when they can start to spawn and release their larvae in the Great Barrier Reef".

An enormous field of pumice, spewed out by a volcano near Tonga, is heading for Australia.

"Based on past pumice raft events we have studied over the last 20 years, it's going to bring new healthy corals and other reef dwellers to the Great Barrier Reef". NASA posted satellite images of the drifting mass on Aug. 23, though the geologic display was first spotted in mid-August.

He additionally famous that the pumice raft is only one two-thousandth the scale of the Nice Barrier Reef, and that coral hardly ever settles on pumice. A video shot by another sailor, Shannon Lenz, shows an eerie, undulating surface that looks like gravel but moves like ocean.

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  • Douglas Reid