The Great Barrier Reef is known to harbor extensive areas of deep coral reefs that are notoriously difficult to study. Here, a diver takes a closer look at corals. Using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), this team deployed sensors to 328 feet beneath the ocean's surface to characterize how temperature conditions at depth differ from those in shallow habitats.
Lead author Dr. Pedro Frade from the Center of Marine Sciences (CCMAR) says the research team was astounded to find bleached coral colonies down to depths of 131 feet beneath the ocean's surface. "It was a shock to see that the impacts extended to these dimly lit reefs, as we were hoping their depth may have provided protection from this devastating event."