You are on page 1of 3

Three ways coral reefs are destroyed:

1. Water Pollution - Reefs are harmed when oil, fertilizer, human and animal
waste are dumped in the area. This waste can also block life-giving sunlight
to the reef. Floating trash can cut young coral polyps off from nutrients they
need to grow into a thriving reef.
2. Global Warming - This causes significant temperature increases in waters in
which corals inhabit. This rise in sea temperature creates a very stressful
living environment for the coral reef. Coral Reefs respond to such stresses by
ejecting necessary symbiotic Zooxanthellae (which are single celled
photosynthetic organisms that provide vital nourishment to the coral). This
ejection leads to a loss of pigmentation in the coral reef, this is known as
coral bleaching
3. Sedimentation - Construction and mining along sea coasts can create a great
deal of silt and soil run off. Particles that enter the ocean can smother coral
reefs, depriving them of sunlight and nutrients. Fish are unable to feed and
coral polyps are unable to grow leaving the area inhospitable to reef life.
Three measures used by St. Lucia to reduce coral destruction
1. Fisheries laws- establishing marine protected areas or marine reserves (is a
type of marine protected area that has legal protection against fishing or
development). These marine reserves will protect marine life.
2. Monitoring fisheries officers or marine police randomly the coastline to
ensure people dont destroy the coral reefs.
3. Zoning dividing the coastline into multiple uses like no fishing areas, marine
protected areas, recreational fishing priority. Zoning helps to manage and
protect the values of marine life
Why few coral reefs are found near the mouth of rivers

Corals occur in a salinity range between 32 and 40 PSU although coral reefs also
thrive in exceptionally high and low salinity conditions. More important than
average salinity concentrations, however, are sudden decreases in salinity due to
high freshwater input by rivers or torrential rains. Decreased salinity is seen as a
second factor for the disappearance of massive coral reefs in front of large river

Corals need access to sunlight (the algae living in their cells need light for
photosynthesis) so the water where they grow needs to be shallow and clear. Too
much sediment in the water can smother the coral polyps and too much fresh water
kills them. That is why coral reefs don't grow close to the mouths of rivers.

Karst - landscape underlain by limestone that has been eroded by dissolution,

producing ridges, towers, fissures, sinkholes, and other characteristic landforms.
Two characteristics of limestone that make it susceptible to chemical weathering

Joints - Limestone is pervious so water can travel through it. Joints are cracks
that are found in limestone rocks. These joints are areas where the limestone
is very susceptible to chemical weathering. The gaps created by this process
are called grykes.
Bedding planes - Bedding planes provide pathways for the entry of water.
This contributes to chemical weathering of limestone. A rock with lots of
these features will weather more rapidly than a massive rock containing no
bedding planes.

How Caves are formed

A cave is a naturally occurring underground hollow or passage, especially one with
an opening to the surface of the Earth. They are formed when s stream disappears
down a sink hole and dissolves along the bedding plane.

How sink holes are formed

Surface and rain water do not flow far on exposed limestone, but infiltrate rapidly
into the rock and soil. Where a joint or intersection of joints has been greatly

weathered water can pass down through the limestone. A stream travelling over an
impermeable rock will very quickly disappear when it has to travel over limestone.
These sinkholes can be many meters deep leading down to a series of subsurface