The Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) monitored the presence of a rare “blue hole” found in the waters of the emirate’s al-Dhafra region, the Abu Dhabi Media Office (ADMO) said on Saturday.
The blue hole is a natural phenomenon characterized by a deep marine depression compared to the shallow areas that surround it.
“The perimeter of the al-Dhafra Blue Hole is approximately 300 meters long and 200 meters wide, encompassing a total area of around 45,000 square meters,” according to a press release.
The seabed area forming the center of the al-Dhafra blue hole is a depressed, semi-circular area roughly around 5,000 square meters. The semi-circular area topography is flat with a maximum depth of 12 meters and has a bottom composition combination of silt and sand, preliminary analysis showed.
.@EADTweets is monitoring the presence of a rare ‘blue hole’ found in the waters of Al Dhafra region. The natural phenomenon reflects the rich biodiversity of #AbuDhabi’s marine ecosystem. pic.twitter.com/hisiTrKlY1— مكتب أبوظبي الإعلامي (@admediaoffice) October 9, 2021
ADMO said this “unique habitat” houses at least ten types of coral species and has a reef in its edges. It is also home to many fish communities, providing shelter for a variety of fish such as Grouper, Sweetlips, Emperor Fish and Jackfish.
“This rare blue hole is significantly important, as it provides a glimpse of how historic reefs used to look like in Abu Dhabi,” according to ADMO.
The deepest blue hole, The Yongle, lies in the South China sea and reaches 300 meters. Other blue holes include the Great Blue Hole in Belize, Gozo’s Blue Hole in Malta, the Blue Hole at Dabahb in Egypt, and Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas.
“These unique structures attract divers from all over the world and are home to fringing reefs and diverse fish species, and at their depths, they host diverse microbial communities,” ADMO added.