Gifford Marine Park
Gifford Marine Park protects a 2000 metre high flat-topped undersea volcano called Gifford Tablemount.
Gifford Tablemount is part of the Lord Howe Seamount Chain, a series of submerged mountains running 1000 kilometres north to south from the Coral Sea to Lord Howe Island.
Seamounts can support astonishingly diverse and abundant marine life, including many species found nowhere else.
In Gifford Marine Park, foraging seabirds and migrating whales benefit from the rich food supplies around the tablemount.
The marine park is 480 kilometres north of Lord Howe Island and covers 5828 square kilometres. Depths are between 220 metres and 4000 metres.
The entire park is Habitat Protection Zone.
Tablemounts (also known as guyots) are flat-topped undersea mountains.
Each tablemount started as a volcano, building up from the seafloor. Eventually it broke the surface to become an island, but then its top was eroded by wind, weather and waves, becoming flatter.
Later, as the seafloor spread out, the tablemount gradually sank below the surface.
The flat tops of tablemounts often have fossil evidence of shallow-water coral species, showing that these mountains were once at the surface.
Click on the map below to see what you can do in the Gifford Marine Park.
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