Atoll: Understanding – Formation Process – Function
The sea is one of the natural resources that has many benefits, such as a source of life for many organisms (marine plants, marine animals, and also humans who make their living by sea). In addition, the ocean is the largest source of water on the Earth. Even the shape of the Earth’s surface as much as two-thirds is the oceans. Apart from its many functions, the sea is also a source of beauty. Many beautiful views can be seen from the sea.
Underwater morphology is a secret that is slowly revealed through research and technology. In today’s era, exploring under the sea is as easy as exploring the land. We can easily find various types of animals, plants, and also underwater landscapes that turned out to be uneven. Similarly, on the surface of the land, even under the sea, there is a steep and sloping side. There are high parts and low parts. One that is under the sea is a coral reef. Coral reefs are a group of marine biota that forms certain formations and is usually clustered in large quantities. Sometimes coral reefs form an atoll. What is atoll?
The Understanding of Atoll
Atoll is one part of the sea. Atolls are a group of circular or near-circular coral reefs resembling a ring that surrounds a lagoon in it. So we can say that atoll looks like a ring that covers the lagoon. The existence of this atoll itself initially surrounds a volcanic island that is dead or no longer active.
The Process of Atoll’s Formation
The formation of the atoll to become a giant ring covering the lagoon must pass through various long processes. Here are some points of the process of atoll’s formation:
- Coral Reefs are Around Volcanic Islands
The occurrence of atolls begins when there are coral reefs around the volcanic island, both small numbers and quite a lot of clusters. Usually, coral reefs are in the vicinity of volcanic islands that are no longer active.
- Coral Reefs Grow and Encircle Volcanic Island Areas
As we know, coral reefs are an organism. So, this indicates that coral reefs can also grow and develop. The form of development of coral reefs is usually circular because it follows the shape of the volcanic island which average shape is circular.
- Volcanic Islands Become Eroded and Eventually Become a Lagoon
Over time, these inactive volcanic islands have eroded due to various factors, one of which is also due to the presence of coral reefs around it. So that long-time volcanic mountains will be low and can form a lagoon that resembles a flat island or even a rounded basin.
Function of Atoll
Atolls which are collections of circular coral reefs have several benefits including the following:
- As a house for small fish
- As a food source for various organisms
- Beautify the sea
- As a place of research
Those are some of the functions or benefits of atolls. Hopefully what we convey about this atoll can give an insight for all of you.