Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Australian Scientists Discover Deep Underwater Canyon Off Antarctica


Australian scientists have discovered a vast underwater canyon off the coast of Antarctica.

Acousticians aboard the Australian icebreaker RSV Nuyina found a 2,100-meter/6,890-foot-deep, 9,000-meter/27,528-foot-wide canyon that extends more than 25 nautical miles (46 kilometers) off the Adams Glacier front.

They discovered the canyon when bad weather forced the Nuyina from continuing its resupply of the Casey Research Station run by the Australian Antarctic Program.

The discovery is the second time a seafloor feature has been found using the ship’s multibeam sonar system.

According to senior acoustician Alison Herbert:

“This latest mapping adds to our initial discovery two years ago, on Nuyina’s maiden voyage to Casey, when we mapped the nearby Vanderford Canyon, which is 2200 meters deep, 2000 meters wide and at least 55 kilometers long.

“Nuyina’s multibeam echosounder gives us much greater capability for detailed mapping of the seafloor than we’ve ever had before, and these two new discoveries suggest there will be many more to come.”

(Photo credit: AAD/hydrographic material reproduced with permission of The Australian Hydrographic Office © Commonwealth of Australia 2024)

John Liang
John Lianghttps://www.deeperblue.com/
John Liang is the News Editor at DeeperBlue.com. He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.