Monday, 10 May 2010

The Germans and mountains under Venezuela's Caribbean

A German expedition ship, Meteo, with a team from Greifswald University has just announced they may have discovered sunken "islands" off Venezuela's and Colombia's coastline in the Caribbean. Basically, we are talking about mountains with summits 800-1000 metres under sea level and going further down up to 1000 metres to the seabed proper. Those elevations hadn't apparently been charted before.

The expedition also dregged soil material from that area and found fossalized chorals, snails and algae. Those elements hint at the mountains once being part of shallow waters. The team assumes the area was above sea level 40 to 50 million years ago.

You will find a general article in English here and a comprehensive report in German and English here about what the initial plan was. Mind: they had several targets in mind, from doing research on volcanic and tectonic activity to testing theories on how the Caribbean appeared to finding signs of oil and learning more about heavy metal circulation, so I suppose we will be hearing more about the other things they were investigating there.

I hope Venezuelan scientists can get more involved in those expeditions.

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