The reef crest is the highest point of a coral reef. It's located in between the reef flat and the fore reef zone. Typically the reef crest spans from 3 yards to 55 yards (9 to 165 feet) across [source: NOAA]. The reef slopes upward to its crest on the side of the reef closest to the shore. It slopes downward from the crest moving further out to sea. The crest may be exposed during low tide. It also faces the ravages of waves from the open ocean. Encrusting algae are found in this zone. These algae constantly work in concert with the reef and coral sand to repair wave damage. In areas less exposed to waves, there are dense, branching corals. Marine life often seeks shelter in crevices of the reef's crest.
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