Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Reefs of deep-sea corals are discovered for the first time in the Mediterranean, offshore of Israel, by the Nautilus cruise

04.10.2010
*"It's like finding a flourishing oasis in the middle of the desert," said Dr. Yizhaq Makovsky, who directed the University of Haifa control center for the Nautilus expedition in the southeastern Mediterranean.*

The exploration vessel Nautilus, with a team of experts of the University of Haifa's Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, headed by Prof. Zvi Ben Avraham, discovered for the first time an area of reefs with deep-sea corals in the Mediterranean, offshore of Israel.


This area apparently stretches over a few kilometers, 700 meters under the surface and some 30-40 km off the coast of Tel Aviv. According to the researchers, this southeastern region of the Mediterranean has only sparse sea life and therefore the discovery is in fact parallel to discovering an oasis in the middle of an arid expanse. "We did not expect, know, or even imagine that we would come across these reefs and certainly not such large ones. It's like finding a flourishing oasis in the middle of the desert," said Dr. Yizhaq Makovsky, who directed the University of Haifa control center for the project.

After two and a half weeks at sea, during which time the ship's robots plunged as far as 1.7 km down into the depths of the Mediterranean, the Nautilus returned to land and the collaborative research team have begun to examine the many discoveries that they made. Probably the most significant – and most surprising – of these discoveries were the reefs of deep-sea coral, the first deep-sea coral reefs to be found offshore Israel. Their discovery has broad scientific importance. For example, they can help us in understanding the mechanisms of their survival in the environmental conditions of the deep sea, as well as unfold the history of these conditions with the effect of global changes.

"This cruise has provided a nutshell sampling of this maritime region, but our discovery only demonstrates the potential of the many surprises that await us in the depths of this area. An immediate implication of this discovery is that there is an urgent need to classify the area as a deep-sea reserve, as are other coral reef areas around the world," explained Dr. Makovsky.

In-depth research on the sea-bed samples are yet to get well under way, but additional discoveries that can already be reported from the Nautilus expedition, are two shipwrecks – probably modern boats that sunk over the past few decades; and fish and crabs that were photographed in their natural habitat for the first time, hundreds of meters beneath the Mediterranean surface.

One of the fascinating fish that were captured by the Nautilus's cameras was the Chimera Monstrosa, of the "ghost sharks" family that branched off from sharks some 400 million years ago.

The expedition also discovered and documented a 10-cm crab hiding in the recess of a rock, making it difficult for the research team to identify it. As with all the other discoveries, this crab was also documented thanks to the technological capabilities provided on the Nautilus.

For more details contact Rachel Feldman • Tel: +972-4-8288722

Communications and Media Relations
University of Haifa
press@univ.haifa.ac.il

Rachel Feldman | University of Haifa
Further information:
http://www.haifa.ac.il

Further reports about: Mediterranean ecosystems Nautilus Reefs coral reef global change

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht How much biomass grows in the savannah?
16.02.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Canadian glaciers now major contributor to sea level change, UCI study shows
15.02.2017 | University of California - Irvine

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>