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Barrier Reef (Physiographic Setting)

Component: Physiographic Setting

Unique Identifier: 40

Physiographic Setting Barrier Reef

Definition A long, narrow coral reef, roughly parallel to the shore and separated from it by a lagoon of considerable depth and width. This reef may enclose a volcanic island (either wholly or in part), or it may lie a great distance from a continental coast (such as the Great Barrier Reef). Generally, barrier reefs follow the coasts for long distances—often with short interruptions that are called passes or channels. Three principle examples of this type of feature are Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the New Caledonia Barrier Reef, and the Meso-American Barrier Reef system—although similar features exist elsewhere.