Peter Rona, professor of marine science at Rutgers’ Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, and Vincent Guida, a research fisheries biologist at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, led the cruise which found the pits up to hundreds of feet in diameter and tens of feet deep this summer. Their findings will be presented at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Dec. 14-18, in San Francisco.
“Finding these pits is new for this area,” Rona said. “They’ve been found in certain other places, such as the Gulf of Mexico. There, they’ve been related to the dissolution of gas hydrates in the sediments below the sea floor.”
When enough gas hydrates – methane gas frozen in ice crystals in muddy sediments beneath the seafloor – have dissolved, the sediments in which they’ve been trapped may collapse, forming pits. Rona suspects that may have happened in the Hudson Canyon. During their cruise on the NOAA Fisheries Survey Vessel Henry B. Bigelow in August, the researchers recovered water samples from the canyon. These samples, still being analyzed by Mary
Scranton, professor of marine science at Stony Brook University, indicated abnormally high levels of methane in water taken from above at least one of those pits.
All this, Guida said, may benefit much of what lives and swims in the water column in the canyon, from bacteria to tilefish.
Methane is a source of energy that certain bacteria use to manufacture carbohydrates (sugars and starches) in order to nourish themselvess. The bacteria, in turn, are consumed by other organisms like clams and worms.
They, in turn, may support the larger animals up the food chain, including golden tilefish, which are the focus of a major fishery, and therefore of Guida’s professional attention. Guida said he found what appear to be the burrows of tilefish in the canyon. Generation of methane may have direct environmental effects, too. It is not only important as a chemical energy source to enable bacteria to nourish themselves at the base of a food chain, but is also a potent greenhouse gas that can contribute to global warming. Net benefits or costs of methane release to the ecosystem depend on rates of production and consumption, which have yet to be measured.Regional map, showing the Hudson Canyon
The Eagle Ray cruises about 50 meters (165 feet) above the ocean bottom, and automatically conforms its track to the contours of the bottom. Using sonar, the Eagle Ray produces maps of seafloor objects as small as 15 feet. The scientists gave particular credit to Leonardo Macelloni, research assistant professor at the University of Mississippi, who interpreted the sonar data recorded by Eagle Ray.Contact: Ken Branson
Shelley Dawicki | EurekAlert!
Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.
The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
21.08.2018 | Materials Sciences
20.08.2018 | Information Technology
20.08.2018 | Life Sciences