Jacuzzi of Death – Massive Brine Pool – Gulf of Mexico
One of the oldest places on the planet is said to be the `Jacuzzi of death’ which had first been found in 2014, as a massive brine pool beneath the Gulf of Mexico by utilising a robosub. They have now returned to develop the first resolutions map of the location stating that it could hold the key in locating life on the other planets.
According to Discovery News after an earlier visit to the location, the researchers had mentioned in Oceanography that they had focused on a larger brine pool on the last leg of the seafloor hydrocarbon community studies with regards to its warm temperature together with high salt content which could be deadly to several macro fauna unfortunate to fall in.
They had come across large dead isopods as well as crab which had been preserved along the edge of the brine pool. They informed that the crater-like circular, brine-filled pool rose about 3 m above the surrounding seafloor, and brine had been spilling out on one side in a spectacular waterfall. Erik Cordes, associate professor of biology at Temple University who had located the site together with many other colleagues stated that it had been one of the most amazing things in the deep sea.
Technology Development in Deep Sea – Applied to Worlds Beyond
They stated that one goes down to the bottom of the ocean and seems to be looking at a lake or a river flowing and feels like you are not on this world. Cordes who has been studying deep sea coral together with the others had first discovered the formations in 2014 by utilising remotely operated underwater robot known as Hercules.
The following year, they had returned with the three-person research sub Alvin in order to get a closer look. Their latest research has now been published and the team retrieved some of the samples of microbial life which are improved in handling the high salinity together with the low oxygen intensities of the brine pool.
Cordes is also of the belief that these creatures may be similar to life on planets in the solar system or even beyond. In May, he informed Seeker that there are many people looking at these dangerous habitats on Earth as replicas for what could be discovered when they go to other planets. The technology development in the deep sea will certainly be applied to the worlds beyond our own.
Brine Pool Saturated with Methane
The main reason of revisiting the brine pool was intended to conduct a high resolution mapping survey of the location. The team mentioned that the top layer of the brine pool seemed to have very high salinity with a temperature of 7.8 degree Cent. Beneath the layer they discovered dense, hydrocarbon charged fluidized mud with a temperature of 19 degree Cent.
They further informed that the sampling line as well as the CTD had been lowered to ~19 m in the pool though it did not reach a hard bottom, providing new insight on the nature of these bottomless brine pools. The initial analyses confirmed that the brine pool had been saturated with methane. The team are now hoping to return with the expectation of creating 3D maps.
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