Dry Tortugas National Park (DTNP)

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Chapter 3. SITE DESCRIPTION

a - General features of the site

Terrestrial surface under sovereignty, excluding wetlands:

42 sq. km

Wetland surface:

0 ha

Marine surface:

265 sq. km

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Submerged carbonate banks with coral reefs, sandy shoals and seven islands located in the Straits of Florida on the southwest margin of the Florida Continental Shelf, 113 kilometers west of the town of Key West.

b - Physical features

Brief description of the main physical characteristics in the area:

DTNP contains a highly diverse coral reef ecosystem with complex benthic features. The carbonate banks are interspersed with sandy islands, shoals and seagrass beds, and form an ellipsoid with a south-west to north-east axis. Atoll-like in structure, the rim of the banks consists of 14 m (46 ft) thick Holocene coral reefs (<10,000 years old) that lie above 135,000-year-old rock known as Key Largo Limestone.