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:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , Revenues amounted to ... of 2015 The gross margin was 49% (27) ... operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per share rose ... was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook   ... The operating margin for 2016 is estimated to exceed ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... , ,The global gait biometrics market is expected ... the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates ... be used to compute factors that are not ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the ... models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition ... harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams ... New York City . The ... projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong ... senior curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced ... of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials ... dose studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, ... in healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects ... single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or ...
Breaking Biology Technology: