Coral reefs

NOTE: In your Cambridge Geography A2 book, the main pages for this are 245-249, but there is a supplementary page on the book’s CD which is worth looking at containing links to websites  PO2.3Coralreefs (pdf file)

Additional information about coral can be found here at the excellent Coral Reef Information System (CORIS) of the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The types of coral reefs:

The following videos (all from the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation ) contain helpful animations of the formation of the different types of structure: fringing reefs, barrier reefs and coral atolls.




Coral reefs case studies

General studies of coral must be illustrated by a good range of particular environments, and successful students aiming for higher grades will need to develop a range of case studies for this topic, showing how the threats to coral are different in particular places.

Both physical and human threats to the coral environment must be looked at in named areas. Each area only needs a ‘mini’ case study with a summary of the main history of coral damage, conservation, or other features suggested by that particular area.

A range of case study materials can be found below, illustrating three types of threat to coral environments:

MALDIVES (Indian Ocean)

The Maldives is a group of Coral Islands in the Indian Ocean with a combination of factors affecting coral: human, extreme weather, rising sea levels, etc.

RED SEA (Egypt)

An example of anthropogenic threat to coral, direct (through tourism) and indirect (through pollution, sedimentation, dredging, over-fishing etc.) Read this article by Nathalie Hilmi et al.,“Coral Reefs and Tourism in Egypt’s Red Sea”.

FIJI (Pacific)

This serves as a good example of the way climate change poses a threat to coral environments. World Wildlife Fund document detailing the threat to Fiji’s coral reefs and mangrove swamps.

GREAT BARRIER REEF (Queensland Australia)

There is an excellent BBC documentary series made by Sir Richard Attenborough (2015). Unfortunately these films are not freely available on You Tube but theymay be found for download elsewhere: worth looking for if you can find them.







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s