Underwater Rivers: Researching the Essence of the Phenomenon
Today, science faces the gigantic problem of studying the entire global system of mixing of water masses in the ocean. To solve it, it is necessary to have a lot of information about the movement of water in various areas at different depths. But today there are still huge squares of the ocean, where only one or two times the hydrological device has descended into the water. The underwater world constantly surprises scientists. And underwater rivers in the seas is one of these surprises.
Features of the Phenomenon
Submarine rivers are formed in places with high tectonic activity. At least, it is considered so, because there must be a reason for the constant emission of hydrocarbons by the earth’s crust. And in this case, this phenomenon has been observed for many years, which leads to the formation of rivers of considerable size.
Since the emitted substances are quite dangerous for life (hydrogen sulfide, methane), the underwater inhabitants practically do not live in the places of formation of underwater rivers. The exceptions are tubular worms and mollusks that feed on bacteria that like the resulting conditions. For example, there is a kind of bacteria that can get energy from absorbed methane.
How Was This Phenomenon Discovered
In 2010, British scientists discovered the world’s only underwater river in the Black Sea.
With rather small sizes (37 nautical miles long and more than half a mile wide), the river is distinguished by a huge volume of water moved – 22 thousand cubic meters per second. If this river flowed over land, it would be the sixth in the world in this indicator.
With the help of an automated underwater vehicle, scientists determined that this river has rapids and real waterfalls. In addition, classical river banks and a floodplain appeared there. The trench formed by the current of this underwater river, in some places has a depth of up to 35 meters.
The river is formed by the infiltration through the Bosphorus into the more salty waters of the Marmara Sea to the less salty environment of the Black Sea. For this reason, the water in the river has an extremely high salt concentration.
Why Do the Waters of the River and the Sea Not Mix?
There is a simple answer to this question – due to different densities and temperatures. If the average water temperature in the Black Sea at a depth of 1500 meters is 9 degrees, then the underground river is several degrees colder. The submarine river is much denser than the surrounding waters due to greater salinity – because it is nourished by the Mediterranean Sea, which is saltier than the Black Sea.
Scientists believe that there are other submarine rivers and perhaps one of them is located near the coast of Brazil, where the Amazon flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Presumably, such natural anomalies were formed when the sea level was significantly lower. Then the rivers, according to scientific research, could reach 4 kilometers in length and several kilometers in width. Despite this, the channel found in the Black Sea, although much smaller, is still the only active and living confirmation of the existence of submarine rivers.
Nature still has a lot of scientific mysteries in stock, but to prevent weather phenomena from being a surprise for you and your users, use the weather API on your website.
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