The NOAA science team stumbles upon an underwater salt lake, also known as a “brine pool.”
The NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer has been diving its ROV, D2, in the Gulf of Mexico this April. Here is a video clip of one of their awesome encounters in the depths of the Gulf. A brine pool is literally an undersea lake. The contact between salty ocean water and much saltier water (brine), means denser water liquid separates from the less dense ocean water. This saltier fluid sits and “pools” on the bottom. It’s so salty that it will erode the sediment it lies on, forming these pools. If any deep sea dwellers happen to stumble into this pool, they have no chance of getting out (and definitely no lifeguards to help!). It’s a geological anomaly for sure, but it’s a nightmare for any biology living in this normally pitch-black environment. However, those creatures that can acquire some “waterfront” property, while anchoring themselves safely, may reap some serious benefits.
Click play below to listen and learn about these eerily beautiful formations, and the creatures surviving on their deadly coastlines.
The NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is in the Gulf of Mexico for the whole month of April. Every discovery they make is being broadcast here to our site, live. Here is one that you may have missed.
The NOAA science team came across some interesting features on the seafloor. No sunlight penetrates 2800 meters below sea level, but organisms have to somehow begin a food chain for energy to survive. How do organisms get that energy, and what does it look like? Watch, listen, and learn as these expert scientists both on board and remotely involved via ISC discuss their findings live.
The Okeanos science team comes across a rocky outcrop, and discovers a huge abundance of animals that are usually around gas seeps or methane seeps.
The NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is exploring the Gulf of Mexico for the entire month of April. From the first splash of remotely operated vehicle D2, the discoveries have been truly amazing.
Within a very narrow range of special depths, temperatures and chemical compositions, the conditions can be just right for a spectacular chemical reaction. Once released, methane bubbles from below the seabed can become frozen and suspended in structures of ice. Confused? It’s a tough one to explain. (The video clip will help.) These methane bubbles can be “trapped” in cage-like crystal structures within the ice, called methane hydrate or methane ice. Methane hydrates are very interesting. In the Gulf of Mexico, sites like this are potential sources of highly concentrated energy, naturally occurring thousands of meters below the surface of our ocean. The future for these deeply fascinating areas are unknown. One obvious statement though: they are breathtaking.
Watch below and experience this wonderful discovery with the science team.