Tuesday, 16 July 2019 | 21:57 WIB

Researchers Discover Giant Freshwater Reservoir Under the Atlantic Ocean

Researchers Discover Giant Freshwater Reservoir Under the Atlantic Ocean (bluebirdele)

NEW JERSEY, NETRALNEWS.COM -- A massive freshwater reservoir has been found below the Atlantic Ocean - stretching from Massachusetts to New Jersey, according to the researchers.

This rare finding was reported by experts at Columbia University last week after a multi-year, sub-seabed study.

"We know there is fresh water there in remote places, but we don't know the area or geometry," explained lead researcher Chloe Gustafson, PhD. candidate at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia.

"That could turn out to be an important resource in other parts of the world," she said in a statement, as quoted by the New York Post.

Using electromagnetic waves, Gustafson's team was able to map the aquifer under the sea - which stretches about 50 miles to the edge of the continental shelf.

"If it is found on the surface, it will make the lake about 15,000 square miles," the team wrote in their report. "This study shows that such aquifers may lie on many other beaches throughout the world, and can provide much-needed water for arid regions that are now in danger of running out."

According to the researchers, the first signs of a Northeast underwater reservoir came in the 1970s when companies drilling for oil often hit fresh water, causing many people to believe that there was something there.

"Analysis shows that deposits are not spread; they are more or less continuous, starting from the shoreline and stretching deep in the shallow continental shelf - in some cases, as far as 75 miles, "the researchers said. "Mostly, they start around 600 feet below the sea floor, and reach a height of about 1,200 feet."

Gustafson's team, which published their findings in the Scientific Reports journal, believes that water reservoirs "may be under the sea floor in one of two different ways."

"About 15,000 to 20,000 years ago, towards the end of the last glacial age, most of the world's water was locked in ice one mile deep; in North America, it expanded through what is now northern New Jersey, Long Island and the New England coast, "the researchers explained.

"The sea level is much lower, showing much of what is now the continental shelf of the US underwater. When the ice melts, the sediment forms a large river delta on the shelf, and fresh water is trapped there in scattered pockets. Then, the surface the sea rises. "

To use the reservoir's water for consumption, scientists must first remove the salt.

"We may not need to do that in this region," said study co-author and geophysicist Kerry Key. "But if we can show there are large aquifers in other regions, that might potentially represent resources."