Archive for 10/21/2011

Charles Q.Choi – 

Robots called “Mermaids” now floating in the oceans are helping to create images of the Earth’s interior.

Each robot is known as a Mobile Earthquake Recorder in Marine Areas by Independent Divers, or Mermaid.

They are equipped with hydrophones, or underwater microphones, with which they record seismic waves from quakes and other earth-shaking phenomena as they ripple through the water. The mics can pick up the waves of quakes from as far away as 7,450 miles (12,000 km).

The seismic waves sent out by these temblors help scientists draw a picture of the Earth’s insides.

“Seismologists use seismic waves very much as X-rays,” said researcher Yann Hello, a geophysicist at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France.

For instance, seismic waves slow down when they hit hotter rock and speed up when they encounter colder rock, and “we analyze this information and translate it into a picture of the hot and cold regions inside the Earth,” Hello told OurAmazingPlanet.

The heat-driven motions of rock in the deep Earth underlie the movements of continents and the earthquakes that can devastate cities, so having a more detailed picture of what’s happening beneath our feet could better prepare us for such natural disasters.

Full story…

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News.com.au –

Cave divers leapt to the defence of their extreme sport yesterday after a Melbourne father with 10 years’ experience died in South Australia’s Tank Cave.

The Doncaster man, 40, who was known as Tony and had dived the notorious underwater labyrinth before, was reported missing about 3.45pm on Sunday when he failed to surface.

He was the second person this year to die in the 6.5km network of water-filled caves recognised as the most spectacular, and dangerous, in the southern hemisphere.

But divers say his death was not a result of pushing the extremes of the sport.

World renowned Polish cave diver Agnes Milowka died there in February when she reportedly ran out of air after becoming separated from her companion 500m from the cave’s entrance as she pushed into unexplored territory.

Cave Divers Association of Australia national director John Vanderleest said: “There is no logic as to why he didn’t make it out.

“Where he was planning on diving, he went through that as planned. It was a very controlled exit from the cave. We don’t as yet understand why he didn’t make it out.”

Diver Andy Higgins arrived at the scene in the midst of the panic and was part of the retrieval team.

Full story…

Maritime Journal – 

Celebrities are demonstrating their underwater skills for charity in a new underwater photography exhibition that opens today in Brighton.

The ‘Celebrations of the Sea’ exhibition has been launched today at Brighton Sea Life Centre in aid of the Shipwrecked Mariner’s Society and is sponsored by canned seafood manufacturer, John West.

‘Celebrations of the Sea’ features celebrities doing their day job underwater –including television presenter Dan Snow, TV and seafood chef Mitch Tonks and world renowned yachtsman Mike Golding OBE.

Photographs are being showcased submerged in tanks alongside living marine life including rays, conger eels and wolf fish.

The exhibition is designed to showcase Britain’s reliance on the sea and the importance of the marine sector. Images are by acclaimed marine photographer and TV producer, Kate Westaway.

Full story…