Scientists uncover new explanation of mysterious hole on the seabed


,- On the coast of Big Sur, California, deep beneath the sea level, there is a mysterious sight filled with huge holes.

Several decades after its discovery, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and Stanford University suspect they have discovered what forms the pattern of the weird circle.

The generally accepted theory is that holes in the seabed are a product of methane gas or even hot liquid, which flows to the outside of the Earth's interior, thus removing a number of fine sediments. Though this may happen in underwater basins, it's not always the cause.

New expedition finds Sur Pockmark off the coast of California is the largest seabed in North America. It's about the size of Los Angeles and contains more than 5,200 ponds, averaging 175 meters wide and 5 meters deep.

The location was planned as a potential offshore wind farm, but there are concerns that the presence of methane could undermine the stability of infrastructure.

On a recent expedition to the Sur hole, which is located at depths of 500 to 1,500 meters, the underwater robot, operated by MBARI researchers, found "slight evidence" of methane ventilation or other fluid flows. Instead, the team thinks the hole may have been formed by gravity.

The large tracks are located on the slopes of the continent, and samples of the seabed collected by the robot indicate that sediments have been flowing down this slope periodically, for at least the last 280,000 years.

Researchers at MBARI argue that such incidents can cause erosion in the middle of each hole.

This is what may have caused the hole to appear in the form of a chain, although future modeling is needed to confirm the idea.


(Newsline Paper Teams)

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