First discovery of a cold seep on the continental margin of the central Red Sea
AuthorsBatang, Zenon B.
Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz M.
Smith, Chris J M
Mannalamkunnath Alikunhi, Nabeel
Smith, Edward Lloyd
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractA new cold brine seep system with microbial mats and metazoan assemblages was discovered by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on the Saudi continental margin of central Red Sea. Now named as Thuwal Seeps, it has a shallow brine pool between 840 and 850. m water depths that is formed by focused brine expulsions from two sites (Seep I: 22°17.3'N, 38°53.8'E; Seep II: 22°16.9'N, 38°53.9'E). The seep is located at the base of a steep wall rock closer to the shore (20. km) than to the axial trough (120. km). The brine pool does not exhibit a significant thermal anomaly (<. 0.3°C) and is so far the coldest (21.7°C) and least saline (74‰) among brine pools in the Red Sea. This discovery provides the first direct evidence of a cold seep with associated biota on the continental margin of the Red Sea. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
SponsorsRed Sea Expedition 2010 is sponsored by KAUST under its Global Collaborative Research program. Manolis Kalergis, Leonidas Manousakis, Kostas Katsaros, and Theodoros Fotopoulos from HCMR assisted in ROV operations. The captain and crew of R/V Aegaeo provided support during the entire cruise. We thank Kathleen Campbell (University of Auckland, New Zealand) and Martin Hovland (Statoil, Norway) for clarifications on the Red Sea seeps. We solicited taxonomic opinions from Greg Rouse (University of California San Diego, USA) and Nomiki Simboura (HCMR) on tubeworms; Elena Krylova (P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russia), Zenetos Argyros (HCMR), Serge Gofas (Universidad de Malaga, Spain) and Henk Dekker (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) on clams; Andreas Kroh (Natural History Museum, Vienna) on sea urchins; and Rob van Soest (Zoological Museum of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) on sponges. William DeCarvalho prepared the maps of the study area.
JournalJournal of Marine Systems