Delicate soft coral garden is discovered in Greenland waters 1600ft below the surface at a pressure 50 times greater than at sea-level (7 Pics)

A delicate, soft coral garden has been found near Greenland at a depth of 1,600 feet underwater — where the pressures is 50 times greater than at the surface.
Experts from the UK and Greenland made the discovery — the first of its kind to have been seen in the region — using an innovative and low-cost deep-sea video camera.
The fragile habitat is immediately adjacent to economically important deep-sea trawl fisheries, the researchers reported.
Accordingly, they are hoping that the United Nations will recognise a 188 square mile area around the site as a 'Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem' to ensure it is protected.

A delicate, soft coral garden (pictured) has been found near Greenland at a depth of 1,600 feet underwater — where the pressures is 50 times greater than at the surface
A delicate, soft coral garden (pictured) has been found near Greenland at a depth of 1,600 feet underwater — where the pressures is 50 times greater than at the surface
'Coral gardens are characterised by collections of one or more species , that sit on a wide range of hard and soft bottom habitats, from rock to sand, and support a diversity of fauna,' said Chris Yesson of the Zoological Society of London.
The gardens are typically made of coral species that do not form reefs, he explained — and the newly discovered example featuring mainly cauliflower corals, with feather stars, sponges, anemones, brittle stars and jellyfish-like 'hydrozoans'.
'There is considerable diversity among coral garden communities, which have previously been observed in areas such as northwest and southeast Iceland,' he said.
'The deep sea is often over-looked in terms of exploration. In fact we have better maps of the surface of Mars than we do of the deep sea,' said paper author and geographer Stephen Long of University College London.
'The development of a low-cost tool that can withstand deep-sea environments opens up new possibilities for our understanding and management of marine ecosystems.'
'We'll be working with the Greenland government and fishing industry to ensure this fragile, complex and beautiful habitat is protected.'
'Coral gardens are characterised by collections of one or more species , that sit on a wide range of hard and soft bottom habitats, from rock to sand, and support a diversity of fauna,' said Chris Yesson of the Zoological Society of London. The gardens are typically made of coral species that do not form reefs, he explained — and the newly discovered example features cauliflower corals, feather stars, sponges, anemones and brittle stars. Pictured, the garden
'Coral gardens are characterised by collections of one or more species , that sit on a wide range of hard and soft bottom habitats, from rock to sand, and support a diversity of fauna,' said Chris Yesson of the Zoological Society of London. The gardens are typically made of coral species that do not form reefs, he explained — and the newly discovered example features cauliflower corals, feather stars, sponges, anemones and brittle stars. Pictured, the garden


Deep-sea surveys are typically expensive and difficult to undertake — relying on costly remotely operated vehicles and manned submarines that have been specially built to withstand the intense pressures of the deep sea.
In their study, the researchers instead made use of a low-cost, towed video sled which they developed — comprising a steel frame on which they mounted a GoPro video camera, lights and lasers (to provide a scale) in pressure-proof housings.
The Mini-Cooper-sized video sledge — which was pulled across the ocean bed for around 15 minutes at a time — took footage from 18 locations across the sea floor.    
'A towed video sled is not unique. However, our research is certainly the first example of a low-cost DIY video sled led being used to explore deep-sea habitats in Greenland's 2.2 million square kilometres of sea,' said Mr Long.
So far, the team has managed to reach an impressive depth of 1,500 metres.'
'It has worked remarkably well and led to interest from researchers in other parts of the world.'
Experts from the UK and Greenland made the discovery — the first of its kind to have been seen in the region — using an innovative and low-cost deep-sea video camera, pictured
Experts from the UK and Greenland made the discovery — the first of its kind to have been seen in the region — using an innovative and low-cost deep-sea video camera, pictured
The fragile habitat is immediately adjacent to economically important deep-sea trawl fisheries, the researchers reported. Accordingly, they are hoping that the United Nations will recognise a 188 square mile area around the site as a 'Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem' to ensure it is protected. Pictured, the research vessel Paamiut which helped discover the coral garden
The fragile habitat is immediately adjacent to economically important deep-sea trawl fisheries, the researchers reported. Accordingly, they are hoping that the United Nations will recognise a 188 square mile area around the site as a 'Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem' to ensure it is protected. Pictured, the research vessel Paamiut which helped discover the coral garden
'Greenland's seafloor is virtually unexplored, although we know is it inhabited by more than 2000 different species,' said paper author Martin Blicher of the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources.
'Despite knowing so little about these seafloor habitats, the Greenlandic economy depends on a small number of fisheries which trawl the seabed.'
'We hope that studies like this will increase our understanding of ecological relationships, and contribute to sustainable fisheries management.'
The full findings of the study were published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.
'The deep sea is often over-looked in terms of exploration. In fact we have better maps of the surface of Mars than we do of the deep sea,' said paper author and geographer Stephen Long of University College London. 'The development of a low-cost tool that can withstand deep-sea environments opens up new possibilities for our understanding and management of marine ecosystems.' Pictured, the research vessel Paamiut which helped find the coral garden
'The deep sea is often over-looked in terms of exploration. In fact we have better maps of the surface of Mars than we do of the deep sea,' said paper author and geographer Stephen Long of University College London. 'The development of a low-cost tool that can withstand deep-sea environments opens up new possibilities for our understanding and management of marine ecosystems.' Pictured, the research vessel Paamiut which helped find the coral garden
'We'll be working with the Greenland government and fishing industry to ensure this fragile, complex and beautiful habitat is protected,' said paper author and geographer Stephen Long of University College London. Pictured, the research vessel Paamiut below the Northern lights
'We'll be working with the Greenland government and fishing industry to ensure this fragile, complex and beautiful habitat is protected,' said paper author and geographer Stephen Long of University College London. Pictured, the research vessel Paamiut below the Northern lights
A delicate, soft coral garden has been found near Greenland at a depth of 1,600 feet underwater — where the pressures is 50 times greater than at the surface
A delicate, soft coral garden has been found near Greenland at a depth of 1,600 feet underwater — where the pressures is 50 times greater than at the surface
Delicate soft coral garden is discovered in Greenland waters 1600ft below the surface at a pressure 50 times greater than at sea-level (7 Pics) Delicate soft coral garden is discovered in Greenland waters 1600ft below the surface at a pressure 50 times greater than at sea-level (7 Pics) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:34 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.