Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

An ocean observatory for the Red Sea

09.03.2016

Studies conducted at the Saudi Aramco-KAUST Marine Environmental Research Center provide new insights into the physical and biological aspects of the Red Sea.

The Marine Environmental Research Center established jointly by KAUST and Saudi Aramco is the first oceanic observatory capable of monitoring the Red Sea.


Data from research conducted close to KAUST is combined with data collected in more remote areas to build a comprehensive picture of the Red Sea.

Copyright : © 2016 KAUST

“Marine research in the Red Sea in the past has been sporadic and often limited to easy-to-reach areas—rather like poking toothpicks into a cake to see if it is cooked,” explained Burton Jones, director of the center and KAUST professor of marine science.

“Until the formation of KAUST, no one had carried out systematic, long-term research into the Red Sea’s marine and coastal environments. Now we have an oceanic observatory that will establish the baseline physical and biological aspects of this unique environment.”

Established in 2013, the strategic partnership enables close collaboration between the researchers at the center and at the KAUST Red Sea Research Center (RSRC) and with scientists from Saudi Aramco. They combine data from research conducted close to KAUST with data collected further afield in more remote parts of the Red Sea.

Jones and his team have various projects underway that involve state-of-the-art technology and marine monitoring systems. The projects come under two main strands of research: oceanographic monitoring and ecological assessment.

The oceanographic research considers the physical variables of the region and monitors ocean currents, the atmosphere and changes in the environment. A key aim is to create models of the Red Sea to understand the processes and influences that affect the ocean and its surroundings.

Led by Ibrahim Hoteit, associate professor of earth science and engineering from the University’s Physical Science and Engineering Division, the research focuses on the long-term monitoring and modelling of oceanic and atmospheric circulation. Knowledge of circulation patterns can prove invaluable in the event of an oil spill, for example.

“To make viable predictions, we need to draw on knowledge of how the Red Sea behaves as a whole,” noted Jones. “We are developing an overview—a year in the life of the Red Sea, if you will—that will enable us to build better prediction models to examine the impact of catastrophic events and the effects of long-term climate change.”

The center’s research teams collect data from networks of fixed coastal measuring systems, monitor wave patterns with radar and have the latest underwater and aerial autonomous vehicle technology at their fingertips. The autonomous vehicles have revolutionized the way oceanic research is carried out. By deploying the vehicles for a period of weeks or months, the researchers can build up a larger-scale, highly detailed picture of the Red Sea from above and below the surface.

Detailed ecological assessments also form a major part of the work, with a particular focus on coral reefs and on the impact of new infrastructure developments along the Red Sea coast. Jones and colleagues continuously monitor the health of the Red Sea’s microenvironments, particularly in far-flung regions. There are ongoing projects to characterize the makeup of sediments and corals, checking for contaminants, toxicity and oil-related pollution.

In one study led by Susana Carvalho, a research scientist in the RSRC, artificial reef structures were placed in the water for one to two years and the species that settled on them were analyzed and documented.

“We are interested in the ‘cryptic diversity’ of coral reefs—those elements of the ecosystem beyond the obvious fish and coral species. The artificial reefs are providing a wealth of new data in this regard,” Jones said.

This project is part of a larger international collaboration in which research teams working on artificial reefs across the globe are now sharing data to build up a more comprehensive picture of the world’s oceans.

KAUST and Saudi Aramco have founded a unique oceanic observatory in the region, and, driven by the efforts of researchers working there, the initiative will continue to provide unprecedented insights into the Red Sea.


Associated links
https://discovery.kaust.edu.sa/en/article/195/an-ocean-observatory-for-the-red-sea

Associated files available for download
Download IconView/download the file 'red sea.jpg

Michelle D'Antoni | Research SEA
Further information:
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht New sensor could shake up earthquake response efforts
11.07.2019 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht NASA satellites find biggest seaweed bloom in the world
09.07.2019 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

Im Focus: Modelling leads to the optimum size for platinum fuel cell catalysts: Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled

An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has built platinum nanoparticles for catalysis in fuel cells: The new size-optimized catalysts are twice as good as the best process commercially available today.

Fuel cells may well replace batteries as the power source for electric cars. They consume hydrogen, a gas which could be produced for example using surplus...

Im Focus: The secret of mushroom colors

Mushrooms: Darker fruiting bodies in cold climates

The fly agaric with its red hat is perhaps the most evocative of the diverse and variously colored mushroom species. Hitherto, the purpose of these colors was...

Im Focus: First results of the new Alphatrap experiment

Physicists at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg report the first result of the new Alphatrap experiment. They measured the bound-electron g-factor of highly charged (boron-like) argon ions with unprecedented precision of 9 digits. In comparison with a new highly accurate quantum electrodynamic calculation they found an excellent agreement on a level of 7 digits. This paves the way for sensitive tests of QED in strong fields like precision measurements of the fine structure constant α as well as the detection of possible signatures of new physics. [Physical Review Letters, 27 June 2019]

Quantum electrodynamics (QED) describes the interaction of charged particles with electromagnetic fields and is the most precisely tested physical theory. It...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

A human liver cell atlas

15.07.2019 | Life Sciences

No more trial-and-error when choosing an electrolyte for metal-air batteries

15.07.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Possibilities of the biosimilar principle of learning are shown for a memristor-based neural network

15.07.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>