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Science & Technology

Vast freshwater reservoir found under the ocean

June 24, 2019 | Comment icon 14 comments

There is a large amount of freshwater under the sea. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Brocken Inaglory
Scientists have discovered a giant aquifer of freshwater hidden deep beneath the North Atlantic.
While the presence of freshwater trapped in porous rock beneath the ocean had long been suspected, nobody could have predicted just how much of it is actually down there.

The discovery was made thanks to marine geologist Chloe Gustafson from Columbia University and colleagues who carried out a survey of offshore groundwater deposits in the region using an electromagnetic receiver deployed from the research vessel Marcus G. Langseth.

The results identified a "continuous submarine aquifer system span[ning] at least 350 km of the US Atlantic coast and contain[ing] about 2,800 cubic kilometers of low-salinity groundwater."
The freshwater aquifer runs from Delaware to Massachusetts and possibly even further than that.

"If we consider the potential northeast and southwest extensions beyond our profiles, there may be several times more groundwater underlying the northeast portion of the US Atlantic continental shelf, representing a freshwater resource that rivals the largest onshore aquifers," the authors wrote.

It is believed that the aquifer formed from meltwater at the end of the last Ice Age.

Given that freshwater shortages are likely to become more of a problem in the future, this expansive new resource could prove invaluable over the coming decades.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (14)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Piney 3 years ago
We have them already on the Outer Coastal Plain. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by ChrLzs 3 years ago
I see what you did there, Still Waters...   
Comment icon #7 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
Fossil water will not replenish itself... it's not a renewable resource. It can be a reserve tho.
Comment icon #8 Posted by qxcontinuum 3 years ago
Once again elders knew science better than the modern medicine
Comment icon #9 Posted by mdbuilder 3 years ago
Every drop of water that was ever here, is still here. Water is part of a closed ecological order. Very few things enter our 'system', nothing but man-made mechanical objects leave it.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
If your freshwater become salted... is not usable easily, yep it's still there but it will not help you a lot.
Comment icon #11 Posted by mdbuilder 3 years ago
Nor does it help when frozen solid. COME ON GLOBAL WARMING!!
Comment icon #12 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 3 years ago
I what way did the "elders" know better and what does aquifers have to do with medicine? 
Comment icon #13 Posted by ChrLzs 3 years ago
??????????????????????????????? Please explain..
Comment icon #14 Posted by qxcontinuum 3 years ago
Wow sry. My comment was meant to be in the " spinach makes you strong " topic.

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