Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Sea Mount Larger than the Rock of Gibraltar Found in Red Sea

HMS Echo

Captains of superyachts passing through the Red Sea might have something a little more solid to worry about than attack by pirates.

The British Royal Navy hydrographical survey ship HMS Echo has discovered a previously uncharted underwater ‘mountain’ on the bed of the Red Sea.
What is more is the size of the discovery is the same as the rock of Gibraltar
The hi-tech sonar suites of the Devonport-based survey ship mapped the huge feature for the first time, and it will now be marked on the charts.
Echo was sent east of Suez at the beginning of last year to help improve charts of the region’s waters and gather key hydrographical data.
Discovering the ‘sea mount’ is quite literally the biggest success of Echo’s deployment.
Yemeni fishermen evidently knew the mount existed – Echo found a dhow anchored on its summit as she carried out her survey of the area.
Multi-beam Echo Sounder Image (MOD)

Existing charts of the area suggested the sea was 385m (1,263 feet) deep, but over an eight-hour period Echo collected reams of information with her sounders to prove otherwise.

24 hours later, after processing all that information, the survey ship’s powerful computers produced stunning 3D imagery which revealed the true extent of the mount which rises to just 40m (131ft) below the surface of the Red Sea – deeper than the deepest draught of any civilian or military surface ship, but a definite danger to submarines passing between the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
 

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