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atolls - -1Robert Melendez Oceanography Dr Allong 11 A.M...

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-1 Robert Melendez November 18, 2010 Oceanography- Dr. Allong 11 A.M Tiny Paradise There are a great many natural wonders on Earth, it is hard to focus on one. However, what this paper will focus on is a natural phenomena called atolls. it comes from the word atar , which means 'crowded together'. So here is how it works: a volcano out in the middle of the ocean is active and erupts and spews out enough molten rock that land is formed above water. As the volcano dies off, the first stage of reefs begins to grow. The first stage is called a fringing reef, and this is where coral begins to grow around the coastline of the volcano. The next stage is the barrier reef. How this happens is the coral begins to extend outward from the fringing reef and just multiplies to create a huge ring of coral around the volcano. The most notable example of this stage is the Pacific Ring Of Fire, which is a horseshow shaped ring of coral that developed as a result of many earthquakes occurring earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and arcs, volcanic belts, and oceanic trenches. It has 452 volcanoes, and 75 percent of the world's active and dormant volcanoes are located here. During this period of time (barrier reef), the volcano begins to sink and is slowly becoming completely submerged. Once submerged, what is left is just the ring of coral that developed, now called an atoll. This process takes millions of years to complete. Over a hundred years ago, Charles Darwin first came up with the sinking volcano theory to explain how these tiny paradises came to be. He was later challenged by another man, Alexander Agassiz, who said Darwin's theory was flawed and that is had to be that
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the coral grew up from the ocean floor. The two theories were put to the test when the
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