Navigation Links
Dead Sea researchers discover freshwater springs and numerous micro-organisms
Date:9/27/2011

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL, September 27, 2011 Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have discovered deep freshwater springs on the Dead Sea floor that feed into this rapidly dwindling body of water.

In the first-ever Dead Sea diving expedition, the researchers also found new types of micro-organisms growing around fissures in the sea floor as part of a collaboration with the Max Planck Institute of Marine Microbiology scientists in Germany.

Diving expeditions have been, up to now, too dangerous to undertake in the saltiest body of water on earth. Using highly skilled divers and high-tech equipment, BGU sent the team to study the springs they had previously detected, but were unable to see from the surface.

The Dead Sea has been rapidly evaporating approximately three feet (one meter) per year, as its main source of fresh water, the Jordan River, has been siphoned off just below the Sea of Galilee for drinking by Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians.

These Israeli and German scientists have been researching groundwater springs which discharge from the sea floor to understand the impact of this process on the unique Dead Sea ecosystem.

BGU Prof. Jonathan Laronne and research student Yaniv Munwes in BGU's Department of Geography and Environmental Development, working with divers, devised the first system to directly measure spring discharge and study the structure of the upward jet-like, plume flow.

Their study reveals complex springs hundreds of feet long and as deep as 90 feet (30 meters). The springs appear from the sea floor through craters as large as 45 feet (15 meters) in diameter and 60 feet (20 meters) deep -- with steep, finely laminated walls and alternating layers of sediment and minerals.

"By developing a measurement system for these springs, we will be able to determine more accurately how much water is actually entering the Dead Sea," Prof. Laronne says.

"While researchers have known for decades that the 'Dead' Sea was a misnomer, the rich variety of life as evidenced in the vicinity of the springs was unexpected," says Dr. Danny Ionescu of the Microsensor Group, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany who is leading the study of the micro-organisms.

"While there are no fish present, carpets of micro-organisms that cover large seafloor areas contain considerable richness of species," he says. Ionescu has shown that some had been previously unknown to live in such highly saline environments while others were newly discovered species.

"The micro-organisms in the Dead Sea water mainly belong to the domain Archaea and they number around 1,000 to 10,000 per ml, much lower than regular sea water," according to Ionescu. "Never before have microbial mats/ biofilms been found in the Dead Sea and not much is known about sediment micro-organisms in the Dead Sea."


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrew Lavin
andrewlavin@alavin.com
516-944-4486
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Eating balanced meals, farm-fresh produce benefits families, communities, nutrition researchers say
2. LSU researchers find impact of oil spill in marsh fish species
3. MU researchers find new insight into fatal spinal disease
4. UCLA Engineering researchers help develop complete map of mouse genetic variation
5. Researchers develop optimal algorithm for determining focus error in eyes and cameras
6. Researchers at Cruces Hospital describe new syndrome of slight family intellectual disability
7. UCLA researchers develop system that finds prostate cancer spread earlier than conventional imaging
8. Joslin researchers identify pathways leading to activation of good fat
9. Kansas researchers find enriched infant formulas benefit brain and heart
10. Researchers sequence dark matter of life
11. Researchers discover a switch that controls stem cell pluripotency
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2017)... Lithuania , March 21, 2017   ... and object recognition technologies, today announced the release ... kit (SDK), which provides improved facial recognition using ... cameras on a single computer. The new version ... to improve accuracy, and it utilizes a Graphing ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions , a ... enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of retired FBI ... public safety business development. Mr. Sheridan brings ... including a focus on the aviation transportation sector, to ... position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation Liaison Agent ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... , March 20, 2017 PMD Healthcare ... personal spirometer and Wellness Management System (WMS), a remote, ... Founded in 2010, PMD Healthcare is a Medical Device, ... a mission dedicated to creating innovative solutions that empower ... With that intent focus, PMD developed the first ever ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/20/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... July 20, 2017 , ... Corporate ... governance at its 27th annual Director of the Year Awards. , The awards will ... La Jolla. This annual event celebrates directors who have made significantly positive contributions ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... Sourcing custom glass or ... needs and has the capabilities to properly execute your job can take many hours ... is a sourcing portal designed to showcase the company’s capabilities and core custom ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 18, 2017 , ... Blood centers ... patients across the region. Nationally, summer is a struggle for community blood centers as ... the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... 17, 2017 , ... Whitehouse Laboratories is excited to announce ... full series of ISO 80369 standard test procedures. The ISO 80369 series of ... delivery systems. With this recent expansion, Whitehouse Labs becomes one of the only ...
Breaking Biology Technology: