Ocean vortex ‘death trap’ discovered

By | June 5, 2006

Ocean vortex death trap discovered

As Earth changes continue, strange happenings like this will increase.

A MASSIVE ocean vortex discovered off the West Australian coast is acting as a “death trap” by sucking in huge amounts of fish larvae and could affect the surrounding climate.

A team of scientists from The University of Western Australia Murdoch University, CSIRO and three American, French and Spanish research institutions announced the discovery of the vortex after a month-long research voyage in the ocean just west of Rottnest Island. Led by Dr Anya Waite, a biological oceanographer from UWA, the 10-member team found the vortex ? 200km in diameter and 1000m deep ? spinning at speeds up to 5kph just off the Rottnest Canyon.Dr Waite said the vortex, shaped like a giant child’s spinning top, was created by current movement down the coast and is one of the largest ever found off of WA.

Visible from space, the vortex is acting as a “death trap” by sucking in fish larvae from closer to the shore, she said. “It’s actually acting as a predator, it’s actually taking the fish larvae which need to stick around their natural habitat on the coast, and dragging them off to sea,” Dr Waite said.

She said the climate above the vortex was noticeably different. – news

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