Fresh water from the bottom of the sea: this is the discovery that amazed researchers at the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) when they analyzed the water collected by a remote-controlled submarine vehicle during an expedition off the Norwegian Sea in 2017.
The leak is probably caused by a freshwater aquifer hidden under the sediment of the same seabed. This phenomenon, according to the researchers, probably originated in the last Ice Age when thick ice caps surrounded Norway and sometimes pushed towards the coast squeezing large amounts of meltwater that then became trapped through the fissures on the seabed.
This is the most interesting feature of this discovery: it is a geological process that began millions of years ago when water was trapped, the same water that is only now making its way through the fissures and faults, as Wei-Li Hong, a marine geologist from Norges Geologiske Undersøkelse (NGU) who participated in the analysis, says.
The freshwater was found about one kilometer below the seabed but the groundwater could be much deeper and the scientists themselves have no idea how big it is. A similar phenomenon has also recently been found off the east coast of the United States.
According to the researchers, these large underwater freshwater reservoirs could be numerous and could be an important resource in the future.
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