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USGS Scientist's Coral Photograph Graces the Cover of GSA Bulletin, November 2003

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Geological Society of America Bulletin cover

An underwater photograph taken by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Tom Reiss graces the cover of the November 2003 issue (v. 115, no. 11) of the Geological Society of America Bulletin, more commonly know as the GSA Bulletin. Nice job, Tom!

Here is the photograph's caption, reprinted from GSA Bulletin:

This photograph was taken approximately 10 m (33 ft) below the surface off Umipaa, south-central Molokai, Hawaii. This photograph, taken facing north and onshore, shows the bifurcation of one coral "spur" into two coral "spurs" and the intervening sand-filled "groove," more commonly known as spur-and-groove structures. The smaller piece of coral in the center of the photograph demonstrates one mechanism for coral-reef growth—breakage and seeding. Pieces of corals often break off the reef and fall into the surrounding sea floor, providing hard substrate where the surviving coral or new coral recruits can grow. Continued lateral and vertical growth might cause this piece of coral to merge with the nearby spur in the future, further expanding the spur's size. Also notice the shore-parallel wave-orbital ripples on the sea floor that cross the lower part of the photograph, demonstrating how these shore-normal spur-and-groove structures typically grow out into the dominant wave field. See related article by Storlazzi et al. (v. 115, no. 11, p. 1344-1355). Photograph by Thomas E. Reiss.

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USGS Coral Photograph on GSA Bulletin Cover

Dec. / Jan. Publications List

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