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The seafloor mystery that hindered MH370’s discovery

The seafloor mystery that hindered MH370’s discovery

MH370 search maps
Mapping of the sea floor performed during the search for MH370. Image: Geoscience Australia
From The New Daily

When Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished three years ago, the mystery wasn’t simply where the plane went down, but into what kind of world did it come to rest.

Relatives of the 239 people aboard MH370 have suffered repeated disappointment and at times have felt that their plight wasn’t being sufficiently addressed.

They may take some comfort that the two-year search of the Indian Ocean’s floor, by geophysical survey teams, was so painstaking and detailed that it has enabled the creation of state-of-the-art maps of the seafloor topography, and a better understanding of the geological processes occurring kilometres below the surface of the ocean.

The tragedy took scientists to places that nobody had ever seen before with any clarity.

Families have not given up hope the plane will be found Photo AAP
Families of those on board MH370 have not given up hope the plane will be found. Photo: AAP

Kim Picard, Brendan Brooke and Millard F. Coffin were part of the team at Geoscience Australia that worked on translating the data gleaned from the search, and turning it into maps.

They have just published a summary of their findings in the journal Eos.

While the global ocean covers 71 per cent of Earth’s surface, “the ocean floor remains poorly studied compared to the land surface”.

http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2017/03/19/seafloor-mystery-mh370-discovery/


"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

Comments

  • Rosie_MOD_Rosie_MOD_ Moderator
    All that searching must have been an opportunity for some inadvertent ocean floor mapping paid for by....

    "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

  • Rosie_MOD_Rosie_MOD_ Moderator

    Geological Insights from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Search


    from EOS

    A rich trove of marine geophysical data acquired in the search for missing flight MH370 is yielding knowledge of ocean floor processes at a level of detail rare in the deep ocean.

    One by-product of the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is a view with an unprecedented level of detail of the landscape deep in the Indian Ocean. This 3-D image shows the Diamantina Escarpment, looking northwest (upslope). The largest seamount in this area, about 1.5 kilometers high, appears in the foreground. In the middle and background, the escarpment and trough mark the northern margin of the rift. Vertical exaggeration is 3 times. Credit: Kim Picard and Jonah Sullivan.

    By Kim Picard, Brendan Brooke, and Millard F. Coffin 6 March 2017

    The tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on 8 March 2014 led to a deep-ocean search effort of unprecedented scale and detail. Between June 2014 and June 2016, geophysical survey teams aboard ships used echo sounding techniques to create state-of-the-art maps of the seafloor topography and profiles of the sediments below the ocean floor in a zone spanning about 279,000 square kilometers of the southeastern Indian Ocean.

    Maps of the MH370 search area in the southeast Indian Ocean
    Fig. 1. Satellite-derived gravity field (gray) [Sandwell et al., 2014] and multibeam echo sounder (color) data were used to produce these maps of the MH370 search area in the southeast Indian Ocean. The relief models are shown in Sun-illuminated (shaded relief) mode. The inset map shows the MH370 search area that was mapped with multibeam echo sounding (shown in red). This map highlights the Southeast Indian Ridge (SEIR) and the Kerguelen Plateau, and it includes estimated spreading rates of the SEIR [Argus et al., 2011], lines delineating regions of approximately equal age (isochrons [Müller et al., 2008]), and interpretations of SEIR segments (I–VII [Small et al., 1999]). Other abbreviations are AAD, Australian-Antarctic Discordance; CIR, Central Indian Ridge; RTJ, Rodriguez Triple Junction; SWIR, Southwest Indian Ridge; WA, Western Australia. The larger map shows details of the ocean depth mapping effort using multibeam echo sounder bathymetry data. Locations of Deep Sea Drilling Project (Leg 26) and Ocean Drilling Program (Legs 121 and 183) Sites 255, 752 to 755, 1141, and 1142 are also indicated, as are the locations of Figures 2, 3, and 4. Click image for larger version.
    The curved search swath is 75 to 160 kilometers wide, and it sweeps from northeast to southwest. It centers on Broken Ridge and extends roughly 2500 kilometers from the eastern flank of Batavia Seamount to the Geelvinck Fracture Zone (Figure 1). Aircraft debris found along the shores of the western Indian Ocean is consistent with drift modeling that indicates the aircraft entered the sea in the search area.
    read more:
    https://eos.org/project-updates/geological-insights-from-malaysia-airlines-flight-mh370-search


    "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    All that searching must have been an opportunity for some inadvertent ocean floor mapping paid for by....
    Indeed:

    The tragedy took scientists to places that nobody had ever seen before with any clarity.
    -------------------
    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • Rosie_MOD_Rosie_MOD_ Moderator
    As yet undiscovered oil and minerals?

    "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    That wouldn't surprise me one bit, because all the anger over there right now seems to be based on economic control of the waters. There seems to be a big race to exploit any new resources as they come, and I wouldn't be surprised if the floor of the oceans become the next object of rivalry.
    -------------------
    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
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