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Posts tagged Tongue of the Ocean

The Bahamas Banks: Submerged Limestone Platforms

February 15th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

The Bahamas - February 9th, 2009

The Bahamas - February 9th, 2009

The Bahama Banks are the submerged carbonate platforms that make up much of the Bahama Archipelago. Here, most the of the islands comprising this archipelago and their respective platforms are visible.

The largest of the platforms are the Great Bahama Bank around Andros Island, the Little Bahama Bank of Grand Bahama Island and Great Abaco, and the Cay Sal Bank north of Cuba.

The limestone that comprises the Banks has been accumulating since at least the Cretaceous period, and perhaps as early as the Jurassic; today the total thickness under the Great Bahama Bank is over 4500 meters.

The waters of the Bahama Banks today are very shallow; on the Great Bahama Bank they are generally no deeper than 25 meters. This is evidenced by the light blue water color.

The slopes around them, on the other hand, such as the border of the Tongue of the OceanĀ  (the large curve at the bottom right) in the Great Bahama Bank, are very steep. The exact place where the platforms end and the slopes plunge downward can be observed as the sudden change from light turquoise to navy blue water.

Despite the fact that they are submerged today, the Banks were dry land during past ice ages, when sea level was as much as 120 meters lower than at present.

Great Bahama Bank, Bahamas – January 13th, 2009

January 13th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Coral Reef, Bahamas - November 25th, 2008

Coral Reef, Bahamas - November 25th, 2008

In this extremely clear image of part of the Bahamas, we can see a curve of the Great Bahama Bank. Upon opening the full image, Andros Island (far left), Long Island (far right) and Exuma Island (left of the former) are also visible.

The Bahama Banks are submerged carbonate platforms that make up much of the Bahama Archipelago.

The term is usually applied in referring to either the Great Bahama Bank around Andros Island, or the Little Bahama Bank of Grand Bahama Island and Great Abaco, which are the largest of the platforms, and the Cay Sal Bank north of Cuba.

The waters of the Bahama Banks are very shallow; on the Great Bahama Bank they are generally no deeper than 25 meters, hence their light blue color in the image.

The slopes around them however, such as the border of the Tongue of the Ocean in the Great Bahama Bank, are very steep. These slopes are visible in the image as the lines that seem to radiate out from the dark circle.

This dark blue curve is the deep waters of the Tongue; in that particular area the waters reach 1300m in depth – a stark contrast to the 25m depth above the slopes.

source Wikipedia

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