Maintainance work at the "Cape Verde Ocean Observatory" with the research vessel METEOR. At this long-term monitoring station north of Cape Verde, the scientists have detected an Eddy with low oxygen concentration for the first time. Photo: Toste Tanhua, GEOMAR

Maintainance work at the "Cape Verde Ocean Observatory" with the research vessel METEOR. At this long-term monitoring station north of Cape Verde, the scientists have detected an Eddy with low oxygen concentration for the first time. Photo: Toste Tanhua, GEOMAR

This plot shows a salinity section of the upper 350 metres of sea water observed across an eddy passing through the Cape Verde Ocean Observatory mooring. As the water in the eddy originates from the African Coast it is much lower in salinity than the surrounding water.. Graphic: J. Karstensen, GEOMAR

This plot shows a salinity section of the upper 350 metres of sea water observed across an eddy passing through the Cape Verde Ocean Observatory mooring. As the water in the eddy originates from the African Coast it is much lower in salinity than the surrounding water.. Graphic: J. Karstensen, GEOMAR

30.04.2015

Sudden Breathlessness in the Open Ocean

Kiel marine scientists describe previously unobserved phenomenon in the Atlantic ocean

30.04.2015/Kiel. A team of German and Canadian researchers have discovered areas with extremely low levels of oxygen in the tropical North Atlantic, several hundred kilometres off the coast of West Africa. The levels measured in these ‘dead zones’, inhabitable for most marine animals, are the lowest ever recorded in Atlantic open waters. The dead zones are created in eddies, large swirling masses of water that slowly move westward. Encountering an island, they could potentially lead to mass fish kills. The research is published today in Biogeosciences, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU)

Read the full English press release on the website of the European Geosciences Union



Reference:
Karstensen, J., B. Fiedler, F. Schütte, P. Brandt, A. Körtzinger, G. Fischer, R. Zantopp, J. Hahn, M. Visbeck, D. Wallace (2015): Open ocean dead zones in the tropical North Atlantic Ocean, Biogeosciences, 12, 2597-2605, http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-2597-2015

 

Contact at GEOMAR:
Jan Steffen (GEOMAR, Communication & Media), Tel.: +49 431 600-2811, presse(at)geomar.de 

Animation Eddy

Die Animation zeigt im oberen Fenster den Weg eines Eddys durch den östl. tropischen Atlantik. Im unteren Fenster sind die gemessenen O2-Konzentratinen am CVOO zus sehen. Animation: Florian Schütte, GEOMAR