[Coral-List] African Dust and Montserrat Volcano Emissions

Melissa Keyes mekvinga at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 21 22:57:39 EDT 2006

Dear Gene Shinn, and fellow Listers,

The African Dust (pinkie-brown) has been with us this year here in the Virgin Islands, as well as the volcanic emission dust from Montseurrat (bluish grey).  Quite thickly at times.  Here is a link to dry/humid air satellite photography:


A hurricane named Helene just went by, leaving marvelous high  surf, and flat calm seas.  The sea fans must be madly flapping.  The beach sands are eroding, and moving to ?? deeper water.

I cannot report much on the coral reef at this point, as I haven't been diving in two months or so.  Too depressing, with so much death from diseases following last summer's extreme heat and bleaching.

There are a few Anenomies that I should go re-photograph.

If anyone has a particular sclectarian coral species they wish me to follow photographically,  I would gladly do so.  About 75% of the individuals I have catalogued from 2004 have died.  Booooo.  I don't really enjoy going back to photo their remains.  Dead corals just fuzz over with white fluff, and no new corals seem to be able to attach.  Several years ago, I tried to keep clean two dead corals, with a scrub brush, but with no success.  Within a day, in clear water conditions, they would be covered in fine, fluffy sediment, at least a half/centimeter thickness. Not land run-off.  I can post series photos about this phenonmenon.  

Can we cork Parrot fish?  Meaning, can we make the 'fluff-makers' relieve themselves in selected places, so the dead reef can be clean enough for settlement of new corals?

 I need to work on my Palythoa files, if I can get the tourists to stop grabbing me to look at a passing Eagle Ray.

I will be posting links to new coral photographs within a week.


Melissa Keyes, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, Caribbean Sea

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