Retrieval of underwater robot sheds light on deep sea organisms

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/30 17:43:39

China's most advanced marine science expedition vessel, Kexue, has successfully retrieved its underwater robot from the South China Sea, bringing back 186 gigabytes of high-definition video and data, media reported Monday.

According to the Science and Technology Daily, the robot, dubbed "the eye of the ocean," is a deep-sea observation system that had been placed in a 1,130-meter-deep cold spring in the north of South China Sea for 375 days.

Zhang Xin, a research fellow from the Institute of Oceanology with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the daily that the system brought back footage recording the evolution of organisms near the cold spring. This will provide first-hand data on research into the changes the organisms undergo and the biological activity mechanism of the cold spring's ecosystem.

It will also help answer questions regarding the relationship between key environment indexes and geological activities, and promote China's international influence in deep ocean ecosystem study.

Zhang explained that the system was placed in a cold spring because it reflects an extreme environment under the ocean where large numbers of species survive without sunshine. The cold spring in the South China Sea has been active for a long time and gathered many species such as shrimps and mussels.

In September, the research vessel Kexue, carrying an underwater robot and an unmanned submersible, completed a month-long scientific exploration in the western Pacific Ocean. During the expedition, a piece of coral was found at a depth of 1,246 meters that may have been formed more than 4,200 years ago, Xinhua reported.


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