Skip to main content

EarthWatch: Cuba's Gran Banco de Buena Esperanza Reef

Cuba's Gran Banco de Buena Esperanza Reef is an elaborate structure built by coral species adapted to the muddy environment of the Gulf of Guacanayabo.

Credits

 Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/.  


Transcript

(SPEECH)
[ELECTRONIC MUSIC]
 
(DESCRIPTION)
Clouds from space.
 
Text, EarthWatch, Exploring the Blue Planet by Satellite
 
An aerial shot of the Gulf of Guacanayabo and Cuba. A coral reef in the water.
 
Text, EarthWatch. Cuba's Gran Banco de Buena Speranza. Earth Observatory. earthobservatory dot nasa dot gov. Operational Land Imager, Landsat 8 Satellite. January 14, 2020. About one-quarter of the planet's marine species depend on food and shelter provided by tropical coral reefs like this one near the southern coast of Cuba. The Gran Banco de Buena Esperanza reef is an elaborate structure populated by coral species adapted to the Gulf of Guacanayabo's muddy environment. The reef pattern is "reticulate": The corals have grown into a maze-like network of ridges interspersed with ponds and channels.
 
The light green areas are the flat tops of steep ridges.
 
Green squiggly RIDGE TOPS are labeled in the water.
 
Text, These ridges rise as high as 25 meters above the bay floor -- and extend another 50 meters below the floor.
 
Over thousands of years, sediments carried by the rivers like the Rio Cauto, Cuba's longest river, have buried the reef in mud, sand, and clay.
 
The RIO CAUTO river is labeled. It winds from mountains down to the bay.
 
Text, To learn more, go to: earthobservatory dot nasa dot gov