Scientists have found a gigantic freshwater aquifer hidden deep under the ocean.
The surprising discovery from a recent exploration of underwater soil off the northeastern US coast by researchers at Columbia University appears to be the largest formation of this type anywhere in the world – from Massachusetts to New Jersey, and uninterruptedly over 80 kilometers to the edge of the continental shelf.
Researchers said that if discovered at the surface, it would produce a lake covering about 15,000 square miles.
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"We knew that there were fresh water down there in some places, but they did not know to what extent or in what geometry," said lead author Chloe Gustafson. Candidate at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said in a press release. "It could turn out to be an important resource in other parts of the world."
Scientists used electromagnetic wave measurements to map the water trapped in porous sediments under the ocean.
The water resources start about 600 feet below the seafloor and the researchers said that they are at a height of 1,200 feet on the ground, and are believed to hold at least 670 cubic miles of fresh water.
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Researchers Have a Theory How the water got under the ocean floor, they said in a press release:
"About 15,000 to 20,000 years ago By the end of the last glacial epoch, much of the world's water was trapped in miles of ice, and in North America it stretched across what is now north of New Jersey, Long Island, and the New England shoreline When the ice melted, sediments formed huge river deltas on the shelf, and fresh water was trapped in scattered pockets, and later the sea level rose. "
Scientists also said that water, if it was ever used for the Consumption should be treated, desalted.
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] "We probably do not have to do that in this region, but if we can show that there are large aquifers in other regions that may be a resource According to the study in countries such as Southern California, Australia, the Middle East or Saharan Africa co-author and geophysicist Kerry Key said in a statement.
The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.