Close this search box.
Coral Reef discovery in Galápagos

Landmark Coral Reef Discovery Offers Glimpse Into the Past

Scientists from around the world discovered in the Galapagos Marine Reserve a coral reef that had been untouched for thousands years. Scientists from the United Kingdom and the United States made this amazing discovery during an expedition in the GMR between March 27 and April 22. The reef was discovered at the top of an underwater mountain which spans several kilometers in the middle of the Archipelago between the islands Santa Fe and San Cristobal.

Scientists explored a reef that spanned more than one kilometer at depths between 437 and 656 yards. They discovered its beauty, biodiversity, coral fossils, which provide valuable insights into the marine conditions of hundreds of thousands years ago. This pristine ecosystem’s discovery is especially significant, given that the El Nino events in 1981-82 and in 1997-98 resulted in a loss of 97% of coral reefs on the GMR.

Danny Rueda is the director of the Galapagos National Park. He highlighted the importance of this discovery and noted that these pristine eco-systems had never been studied or monitored before. He said that “our commitment is to continue monitoring the ecosystems and the biodiversity we have discovered”

The deep-sea submarine Alvin was used for the expedition, and it provided valuable information on little-known habitats. Alvin’s technology allowed scientists to collect data at depths that were beyond the usual range of 44-66 yards. Jennifer Suarez of the Galapagos National Park Directorate’s Head of Marine Ecosystems Monitoring said that this expedition allowed for a better understanding of these areas, and their biodiversity.

Washington Tapia is excited about the discovery of the reef, the first of its type in the Archipelago. Tapia emphasized the importance of this discovery, not only in terms of biodiversity on Galapagos, but also for paving the path for future research into the marine ecosystem.

Deep-water coral reefs offer a rare chance to observe their evolution in the face of changing climate conditions. It is important to note that this discovery highlights the importance of continuing exploration and monitoring the oceans in order to protect these delicate and unique ecosystems.

Atlantis expedition
Atlantis expedition © L. Robinson