There are two main types of coral reefs there are hard coral which are the major reef building species; there are also sea fans and sea whips and they are not reef builders. There are also three different types of reefs.
- Fringing Reefs- they are reefs that form along the coastline and are in shallow water along the continental shelf.
- Barrier Reefs- are parallel to shorelines but further out and the shoreline and reef are separated bya deep lagoon.
- Coral Atolls- are rings of coral that grow on old sunken volcanoes in the ocean. They first start by growing around a volcanic island, and they then as the volcano sinks they only thing that is left is the reef.