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More Interesting Stuff Underwater ..... Page 16

On Water6.html we reported the story of an all aluminum sub named Aluminaut, which in 1967 reported paved roads at 3000 feet underwater. Reportedly, outfitted with wheels, the Aluminaut couldm literally roll along these submerged highways. Here in the gulf of Mexico, scientists are surprised to find underwater, pavement like material. This time they have a ready explanation. Is this explanation true? Does it also account for those roads the Aluminaut rolled on?

Ocean Asphalt Patch a Deep-Seep Mystery
Pavement-Like Material Found on Gulf of Mexico Seabed May 14, 2004

Underwater Asphalt in the Gulf of Mexico. Click and drag photo to resize.

-- Scientists exploring the deep sea in the Gulf of Mexico have discovered seeps that resemble a paved road. Seeps are places where oil and other hydrocarbons bubble up from under the seabed. But these seeps, discovered by researchers with Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, are covered in asphalt.

The seeps were found along salt domes that lie about two miles down in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Deep sea cameras revealed about 20 salt domes that had collapsed or broken apart. Along the edges were large patches of asphalt, or hardened tar.

Scientists photographed them and took samples; they say the material is similar to asphalt pavement, and was probably squeezed out of the seabed like lava.

Oil seeps have been found in most of the world's oceans, but none with hardened material like this, according to a paper in this week's issue of the journal Science. The scientists also found communities of tube worms, mussels, clams and shrimp living on or near the asphalt.

These animals are similar to ones living near deep sea vents, and live off of the chemicals emitted from the vents and seeps. The asphalt deposits are the result of a violent expulsion of hydrocarbons, and indicate untapped deep-water oil reserves. Scientists had thought the region was relatively stable, but this discovery of underwater "volcanoes" shows "how much more there is to learn about the deep sea," says Texas A&M researcher Ian MacDonald. "The abundance of animal life is more proof of the adaptability of marine organisms."

Source:NPR-All Things Considered

Atlantic Shelf
Strange, Straight Tracks At 1 Mile Depth

Click and drag photo to resize.

At a depth of 2000 metres, along the seabed that marks the peak of the ridge on the seamount north of the Azores, the researchers also discovered a puzzling set of straight tracks, resembling burrows roughly 5 cm apart. They confess to having no idea how and by what the tracks were made.

The MAR-ECO study is one component of Census of Marine Life (CoML), a 10-year, $1billion programme of exploration in the Atlantic. More than 110 scientists from 16 different nations are involved in this collaborative effort....Will Knight

Pre-Harappan bricks found in Gulf of Cambay

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SUNDAY, JULY 18, 2004 10:09:31 PM ]

VADODARA: In an underwater exploration in the Gulf of Cambay, National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) scientists discovered almost 9,500-year-old bricks made of clay and straw.

Archaeological experts of the MS University who, too, are involved in a part of the exploration near Surat and the coast of Gulf of Cambay, however, feel that a further insight into the size of the bricks can confirm its age and its period.

The bricks, believed to be pre-Harappan, have been identified to be of the Holocene age.

In the NIOT surveys in the 17 sq km area, stone artefacts like blade scraper, perforated stones and beads were found.

The bricks, according to NIOT scientists, were used for construction.

It indicates that the people of that age led an advanced form of life. The artefacts found on the seabed, 20 to 40 ft below the present sea level, consisted of housing material.

"It is important to confirm the brick size as people of the pre-Harappan age made bricks in the ratio of 1:2:3. A confirmation on the brick size can add more credence to the discovery," says head of the archealogy and ancient history department V H Sonawane.

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