Scientists from four Australian universities will use a robot to explore the Coral Sea and investigate never-before-seen reefs. The researchers from Queensland will leave Cairns this week for a week long expedition.
They intend to identify and document coral reefs in the twilight zone which extends up to 150 meters below the surface using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The ROV will collect samples from previously unexplored reefs.
Tom Bridge, from the James Cook University said that scuba divers get restricted to a depth of 30 meters below the surface and there is still so much unknown about the marine park. In a 2007 expedition led by him a number of previously unknown species had been identified.
He is hoping that more species will be found this time. The deep sea reefs are less susceptible to the climatic changes above the surface and could preserve many species as global temperatures rose.