Italian physicists first discovered at a depth of 3 km in the eastern part of the Mediterranean flow very unusual configuration — a chain of underwater whirlpools, 10 kilometers in diameter each, according to an article published in the journal Nature Communications.
A group of physicists from the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics, and a number of other centers involved in finding a place for underwater neutrino observatory NEMO (Neutrino Mediterranean Observatory) — neutrino detector volume of 1 cubic kilometer, which will have to keep track of high-energy cosmic particles.
Oceanographic research undertaken for a suitable location for the observatory, had previously given the unexpected results. Five years ago, scientists unexpectedly discovered using acoustic instruments placed at a depth of 2 km from the Sicilian coast near Catania, the presence of cetaceans in particular Sperm Whales.
Now a team led by Angelo Rubino (Angelo Rubino) at the University of Venice found a new puzzle in the Mediterranean. Scientists in search of a suitable place to NEMO lowered to a depth of about 3.5 km in the Ionian Sea set of instruments designed to measure the temperature and the flow rate.
Analysis of the data by these devices has shown that in this area at a depth of more than 3 kilometers away there is a chain of successive alternating cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies, each of which is about 10 kilometers in diameter. These chains are moving slowly, at a rate of about 3 centimeters per second.
According to scientists, these vortices are generated in the same Mediterranean area. The experts do not rule out that the vortices appear under the influence of unstable hydrodynamic processes in the depths of the Adriatic and Aegean seas. These processes can produce vortex structures, capable of traveling hundreds of miles without losing speed and power.
Observations of these eddies may be of particular interest for the study of climate change in the Mediterranean.