- a) Barrier reef: Barrier reefs are similar to fringing reefs in that they also border a shoreline; however, instead of growing directly out from the shore, they are separated from land by an expanse of water. This creates a lagoon of open, often deep water between the reef and the shore.
- b) Atolls: Atolls are rings of coral that create protected lagoons and are usually located in the middle of the sea. They are a more or less circular or continuous barrier reef that extends all the way around a lagoon without a central island. They are usually formed from fringing reefs around volcanic islands. Over time, the island erodes away and sinks below sea level.
- c) Fringing reef: The most common type of reef is the fringing reef. This type of reef grows seaward directly from the shore. They form borders along the shoreline and surrounding islands.
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