The US agency NOAA, which specializes in atmospheric and ocean research, announced plans to organize an expedition to an underwater karst sinkhole at a depth of 47 meters. The depth of the “blue hole” itself (as such formations are called in scientific use) is about 130 m.
The project starts in August 2020. Its purpose is to study microorganisms that live in an unusual natural formation, measure nutrient levels and clarify the possible connection of the sinkhole with groundwater in Florida.
The ministry notes that the composition of the water in the “blue holes” is unique in its chemical properties and allows the development of numerous biological communities: corals, sponges, molluscs, sea turtles, sharks, etc. At the same time, the seawater in the sinkhole also interacts with groundwater. Studying the principles of such interaction will allow you to better understand how the carbon cycle occurs between the underground and surface layers of the hydrosphere.
In 2019, the blue hole in the Gulf of Mexico was investigated in a similar way. Dead comb sawnuts were found at its bottom (rays of this species are on the verge of extinction).