Huge Canyon Discovered Beneath Red Sea

Author: Andrea Thompson [OurAmazingPlanet]

A canyon more than 800-foot-deep has been discovered on the floor of the Red Sea by the U.K. Royal Navy’s HMS Enterprise, using an echo sounder that produce 3D images of the feature.

The survey ship was probing the topography of the bottom of the Red Sea as part of a mission to better understand the waters of the Red Sea west of Suez, Egypt, and their safety for shipping and navigation, according to a release from the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The multibeam echo sounder used by the ship sends out pulses of sound waves that bounce of seafloor features and return back to the instrument. The longer it takes for a pulse echo to return, the deeper the seafloor feature off which it bounced. (This method has also been used to map the Challenger Deep, the deepest spot in the Earth’s oceans.)

The data from the sounder can be compiled into a 3D image of the ocean floor.

The “Grand Canyon-style” feature, as the MoD release calls it, measured 820 feet (250 meters) in depth. The find was initially reported by Discovery News.

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