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ridges of calcareous skeletons of dead corals covered by growing corals.
Barrier reefs stretch along continental or island sandbars in warm waters of the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic oceans at a distance of a few to dozens of kilometers from the shore. Barrier reefs may be hundreds of meters wide. The space between the barrier reef and the shore is occupied by a lagoon. At low tide the reefs emerge from the water like separate islands. The largest barrier reef is the Great Barrier Reef off the eastern shores of Australia, which is 2,000 km long.
V. F. KANAEV