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Coral Reefs and other Carbonate of Lime Formations in Modern Seas1

Nature volume 42, pages 162166 | Download Citation



THE vast organic accumulations known as coral reefs are, undoubtedly, among the most striking phenomena of tropical oceanic waters. The picturesque beauty of coral atolls and barrier reefs, with their shallow placid lagoons, and their wonderful submarine zoological and botanical gardens, fixed at once the attention of the early voyagers into the seas of equatorial regions of the ocean. Questions connected with the peculiar form, the structure, the origin, and the distribution of these great natural productions have, from the very outset, puzzled and interested all those who delight in the study of natural things. In this communication we propose to point out and discuss some of the more general phenomena of oceanic deposits, with special reference to the functions of corals and other lime-secreting organisms, and the accumulation of their dead shells and skeletons on the floor of the great oceans.

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