Ponds of water may reveal the origin of the earth | Technology and cars

AMMAN – Scientists discovered rare saltwater pools in the Gulf of Aqaba during a 4-week research voyage aboard the OceanXplorer.

Scientists presented their findings and documented the discovery of salt water basins in the Gulf of Aqaba in a paper published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment under the title “The discovery of NEOM salt pools in the deep sea in the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea “, on June 27 last June.

The new study revealed that these pools discovered in the depths of the Red Sea may bear evidence of environmental disturbances in the region dating back thousands of years, and this study may shed light on the origins of life on Earth.

Marvelous symmetry of early Earth
The scientific team led by Sam Burkes, Professor and Chair of the Department of Marine Geosciences at the University of Miami, was able to make this discovery more than 1,770 meters below sea level with the help of a remote-controlled underwater vehicle belonging to the “Ocean Explorer”. ship, capable of exploring the most impossible places Accessible on Earth, owned by OceanX, an ocean exploration organization.

These highly saline and oxygen-free basins are located near the coast and contain information about tsunamis, floods and earthquakes in the Gulf of Aqaba that occurred thousands of years ago.

In a statement to Live Science, Birkes said, “Deep-sea saltwater pools are a wonderful analogy to the early Earth, and despite being devoid of oxygen and extremely salinity, they teem with a rich community of living microbes.”

He added, “Then the study of this community provides a glimpse into the kind of conditions in which life first appeared on our planet, and has guided the search for life on other watery worlds in our solar system and beyond.”

“We were very lucky,” added Birkes. “The discovery came in the last five minutes of the underwater vehicle’s 10-hour dive. We can dedicate it to this project.”

Birkes noted that these ponds could also yield microbial discoveries that could contribute to the development of new drugs. “Molecules with antibacterial and anti-carcinogenic properties have previously been isolated from deep-sea microbes living in saltwater pools,” he said.

salt water pools
Ammonites – Deep sea saltwater pools are “ultra-brine” that form on the ocean floor. They are some of the harshest environments on Earth, but despite their high salinity, strange chemistry and total lack of oxygen, these rare ponds are teeming with life.

Scientists know of several dozen deep-sea saltwater pools around the world, ranging in size from a few thousand square meters to about 2.6 square kilometers. Only 3 bodies of water are known to host deep sea saltwater pools; They are the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

The Red Sea contains the largest known number of deep-sea saltwater basins. It is believed to have formed from the melting of pockets of minerals deposited during the Miocene period (about 23 to 5.3 million years ago) when sea levels in the area were lower than they are today.

Until now, all known saltwater pools in the Red Sea were located at least 25 kilometers from the coast. The newly discovered dams are the first such dams in the Gulf of Aqaba, where the underwater salt lakes are located 2 km from the coast.

The research trip of the “Ocean Explorer”, which lasted 4 weeks, was financed by NEOM (social networking sites)
The Ocean Explorer’s four-week research voyage was funded by NEOM, which is developing the Saudi coast. Scientists’ findings indicate that in the past 1,000 years, large floods from dangerous rain have occurred about once every 25 years, and tsunamis have occurred about once every 100 years.

Birkes said the core samples the researchers took from the newly discovered saltwater pools “represent an unbroken record of past rain in the region, spanning more than a thousand years, as well as records of earthquakes and tsunamis.”

He emphasized that these findings related to tsunami and other disaster risks “could be very important lessons for the massive infrastructure projects currently being built on the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba.”

“In the future, we intend to work with other countries bordering the Gulf of Aqaba to expand the assessment of earthquake and tsunami risks. Additionally, we hope to return to saltwater pools with more sophisticated drilling equipment to attempt deeper depths reach that is submerged. us in earlier times,” added Birkes.


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