19,000 new seamounts discovered using satellite technology

19,000 new seamounts discovered using satellite technology

The U.S. undersea fleet has a major adversary today, and it’s not an enemy force, but the mountains under the sea that they sometimes collide with. In an article in Science, they recall the nuclear-powered USS San Francisco, which in 2005 collided with a volcano. and one crew member died and others were injured. To avoid this problem, mapping the ocean floor is crucial.

Ninety-eight percent of all Internet traffic travels through undersea cables that cross oceans around the world. Spain has 28 of these cables and has just announced the next one that will be operational and will connect the Canary Islands and the Peninsula.

The mapping that is done of the seafloor is done with sonar, however, it is impossible to calculate all the seamounts that exist. Sometimes, the following are used radar satellites that measure the height of the ocean through “subtle signals of seawater piling up on a hidden seamount, dragged by its gravity,” they explain in Science. Using this method, more than 24,000 seamounts were found in 2011 and, this month, researchers published a new catalog with more than 19,000 previously unrecorded mountains.

David Sandwell, a marine geophysicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography who helped lead the project, and his team obtained the necessary funding from the U.S. Navy to search for seamounts with satellites in the wake of the USS San Francisco incident. Of the seamounts found using high-resolution radar data, it is estimated that the majority (more than 27,000) still remain undetectable by sonar.

According to the researchers, 700 of the mounts detected in the first batch they published were shallow, so they posed a problem for military submarines. However, they knew there were more that had gone undetected, so they used high-resolution radar satellites, such as CryoSat-2 from the European Space Agency and SARL from the Indian and French space agencies.

A cab driver's question to confirm the street his customer wanted to go to snuck into NASA's rebroadcast during this week's spacewalk on the ISS.

Seamounts are often formed by tectonic plates moving over stationary plumes of hot rock rising from the mantle. For that reason, investment in studies of the Earth’s interior is important.says Carmen Gaina, a geophysicist at Queensland University of Technology.

In addition to preventing collisions of U.S. fleet submarines, the new mountains found will serve to boost biodiversity protection in international waters. “We can’t protect things we don’t know are there.” and that is changing with studies like the one conducted, as detailed by Chris Yesson, a marine biologist at the Zoological Society of London’s Institute of Zoology.

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Kayleigh Williams