Scientists have discovered that ocean currents create avalanches, rivers and other seafloor infrastructure changes
(Natural News) We know more about space than the behavior and structure of the ocean deep. Scientists recently discovered that deep ocean currents cause sediment avalanches and changes to rivers and the sea floor. The team of scientists responsible for this discovery is led by Maria Azpiroz-Zabala, Dr. Matthieu Cartigny, professors Peter Talling, Dan Parsons and Mike Clare from the University of Hull. Together with researchers from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), the first direct measurements of turbidity currents have been made.
Turbidity currents, or deep-water sediment avalanches, are powerful flows that damages and breaks important seafloor infrastructure responsible for supporting global digital communications. Until the study was conducted, it has always been unclear how large these flows are and how often they happen. These turbidity currents occur 2,000 meters below sea level and moves large volumes of sediment and organic carbon over week-long periods. This process contributes to supporting sea-floor ecosystems and the regulation of climate change (through burial of organic carbon).
Published in the Science Advances journal, the findings of the study lead to new models of the processes of these expansive flows. Turbidity currents were previously difficult to monitor due to its depth and its capacity to destroy scientific and observational instruments placed in the its path. Until now, research was limited to a laboratory setting. Technology nowadays allows us to measure the underwater canyons and record the details of the behavior of flows accurately. The research team was awarded a Natural Environment Research Council grant to further…Read More