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Researchers find coral reefs in a place they shouldn't exist

From Engadget - July 14, 2017

One factor that prevents reef formation is the aragonite saturation horizon, which refers to the ocean depth where levels of the mineral aragonite drop off. Hard corals need aragonite to form their skeletons, so when there is not a lot of it around, coral reefs tend not to form. Additionally, coral skeletons are more prone to dissolve in the North Pacific compared to other areas. "Even if the corals could overcome low aragonite saturation and build up robust skeletons, there are areas on the reefs that are just exposed skeleton, and those should be dissolving," Amy Baco-Taylor, an author of the study, said in a statement, "Even if the species could survive in the area, we should not be finding an accumulation of reef."

But they did find reef accumulation, six of them in fact, near the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and Emperor Seamount Chain despite everything we know about coral reefs saying they should not exist. Most of them exist below the aragonite saturation horizon and in areas with high dissolving rates.

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