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Pumice raft transports life across the ocean

12-24-2020


Today’s Video of the Day from Queensland University of Technology describes a pumice raft that was formed after an underwater volcanic eruption near Tongo.

The massive pumice raft, which was twice the size of Manhattan at one point, traveled 3,000 kilometers to the Australian coastline.

Study co-author Professor Scott Bryan has been studying the effects of pumice rafts for two decades. He explained that the Great Barrier Reef has connections to coral reefs that are thousands of kilometers further east. 

“Each piece of pumice has its own little community that has been transported across the world’s oceans – and we have had trillions of pieces of this pumice floating out there following the eruption,” said Professor Bryan. 

“Each piece of pumice is a home, and a vehicle for an organism, and it’s just tremendous. The sheer numbers of individuals and this diversity of species is being transported thousands of kilometres in only a matter of months is really quite phenomenal.”

The study is published in the journal Frontiers in Earth Science.

Video Credit: Queensland University of Technology 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

 

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