Massive River Discovered on Sea Floor

Black Sea river world's sixth mightiest

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 2, 2010 6:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Scientists have discovered a river whose flow is 10 times mightier than the largest river in Europe on the floor of the Black Sea, proving that previously mysterious channels visible on ocean floors are in fact formed by underwater rivers.The Black Sea river, the first-ever still-flowing underground channel to be discovered, carves out channels just like a river on land, and even has rapids and waterfalls, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Every second, 777,000 cubic feet of water flow through the Black Sea river, which is up to 115 feet deep but only 37 miles long. University of Leeds researchers using a robotic submarine discovered the undersea river, which they estimate would be the world's sixth-largest in terms of flow if it were on land. They say news of the seafloor river may prove useful to oil companies trying to decide where to drill.

The underground river even has waterfalls and rapids.
The underground river even has waterfalls and rapids.   (Shutter Stock)
A 3-D radar image of the undersea river channel.
A 3-D radar image of the undersea river channel.   (University of Leeds)
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