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Great Barrier Reef Clouded by Sediments Stirred by Storm

(Image credit: NASA)

The terrific force of Cyclone Yasi didn't just impact the people and places on the mainland of Australia, it also impacted the Great Barrier Reef , just off Australia's eastern shore.

With high winds, a powerful storm surge, and torrential rains, Cyclone Yasi churned the waters of the Coral Sea off Australia's Queensland coast.

On Feb. 4, 2011, as the clouds began to clear, evidence of the storm's violence lingered in the water. The normally clear, shallow water of the Great Barrier Reef was clouded with sediment brought to the surface in the turbulent water.

In this image, taken by NASA's Aqua satellite, light reflects off the light-colored sediment, turning the ocean electric blue.

Sections of the reef are visible amid the clouded water. The reef has well-defined shapes and is greener than its surroundings.

The section of reef shown here is near Whitsunday Island National Park. The large image, which shows a wider area, reveals sediment in the water along much of the coast.

Live Science Staff
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