The Rowley Shoals have been on my ‘bucket list’ for decades.
As the world’s only shelf edge coral atolls and their location in relation to the biological centre of marine diversity, the ‘coral triangle’ between Indonesia, the Solmon Islands and the Philippines and swept by both the Indonesian Flowthrow (part of the World’s Ocean Conveyor Belt of waters that circulate the global oceans) the Leewuin Current they are very interesting.
They did not disappoint.
These three reefs are unusual as they rise almost vertically from Australia’s continental shelf (a classic Atoll forms on an oceanic mountain edge that rises from the deep ocean floor) with almost vertical sides rising from 500m (Mermaid Rf), 390m (Clerke Rf) and 230m (Imperiuse Rf) with their seaward (SE) side dropping away into the oceanic depths of greater than 700m.
ROWLEY SHOALS - ebook. (available in .mobi and .epub formats)
The Rowley Shoals are listed on Australia's Commonwealth Heritage List because it "is regionally important for the diversity of its fauna which includes: corals (216 species in 52 genera); molluscs (260 species); echinoderms (90 species) and fish (485 species).
.mobi and .epub formats
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Rowley Shoals History