A team of researchers at the University of Western Australia has discovered mysterious underwater rivers along the country's coastline. Scientists made this discovery using Ocean Gliders, and they noted that such underwater rivers are not present anywhere else on Earth.
Mysterious Underwater Rivers
According to researchers who took part in this study, these underwater rivers are usually formed during the winter season. It usually happens when heat loss causes shallower water to cool resulting in the formation of dense water in the inner shelf. Later, this water flows offshore along the seabed and will result in the formation of these underwater rivers.
Dr Tanziha Mahjabin, a researcher who was a part of this study, revealed that these results were obtained using a huge amount of data collected using the Integrated Marine Observing System.
"The data spanned more than a decade and is the equivalent to spending more than 2500 days at sea. We were able to examine data from different areas of Australia and also look at the seasonal variability," Mahjabin said in a recent statement.
Professor Chari Pattiaratchi from UWA's Oceans Graduate School and Oceans Institute revealed that these underwater river systems remain undetected as satellites failed to track these rivers as they are flowing under the surface. However, the usage of Ocean gliders helped scientists to discover these water plumes.
An Unusual Discovery from Australian Scientists
Dr Yasha Hetzel, the co-author of the study, revealed that this phenomenon of simultaneous cooling of near-shore waters along Australian shores due to heat loss was not documented never before.
"The coastal ocean is the receiving basin for the suspended and dissolved matter that includes nutrients, plant and animal matter, and pollutants and represents an important component of the ocean environment, connecting the land to the deeper ocean," said Hetzel.
Researchers also noted that this finding is quite important as these underwater rivers play a crucial role in transporting pollutants and plant and animal matter offshore.