school of fish in background
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Monitoring

SECRETS OF THE GULF EXPEDITION, MARCH 2007--BRINE SEEP AT EAST FLOWER GARDEN BANK

Following are images taken by the ROV Argus during the Secrets of the Gulf Expedition. These images show the area surrounding a brine seep at the base of East Flower Garden Bank. The super-saline water that is flowing from under the sea floor has created a concentrated brine lake and channel in which only certain bacteria are able to live. This "lake" and "river" within the ocean are only about 10 inches deep but have a very different habitat than their surroundings.

Additional expedition images can be viewed at the following links:

Click on a picture below to see a larger, hi-resolution image. Credit for all of these photos goes to Sea Research Foundation (SRF) and the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET).

Brine lake at East Flower Garden Bank
The sea floor beneath the brine lake at East Flower Garden Bank.
Current patterns on the sea floor beneath the brine lake at East Flower Garden Bank
Areas of apparent salt encrustation and bacteria on the sea floor beneath the brine lake.
An object lying on the sea floor in the brine lake
An object lying on the sea floor in the brine lake.
School of fish swimming above the brine lake
Current patterns on the sea floor beneath the brine lake at East Flower Garden Bank.
Marble grouper swimming just above the brine lake at East Flower Garden Bank
A marbled grouper swimming just above the brine lake at East Flower Garden Bank.
Bottom of brine lake at base of East Flower Garden Bank
A closer view of the brine lake and its apparent salt encrustations.
Brine lake at the base of East Flower Garden Bank
Brine lake at the base of East Flower Garden Bank.
One edge of the brine lake at East Flower Garden Bank
One edge of the brine lake at East Flower Garden Bank.
Looking from the brine lake to the reef beyond
Looking from the brine lake toward the "normal" reef area at its perimeter.
Part of a research project in the brine lake
Objects placed within the brine lake as part of research by Eric Powell, Rutgers University.
Fish swimming in the "normal" sea water above the brine lake.
Small school of jacks swimming over the brine lake.
Brine lake flowing into a channel
The brine lake flows through a channel toward a deeper part of the bank.
Pool of super-saline water in brine channel
A pool of super-saline water visible in the channel leading away from the brine lake.
Depth of briny water visible where channel meets reef
The depth of the pool of briny water is easily seen where the channel meets the surrounding reef.
Another view of the channel leading away from the brine lake
Another look at the channel leading away from the brine lake.
Salt encrustations surround a pool of briny water
Salt encrustations surrounding a pool of briny water.
Ripples visible on surface of briny pool
Ripples visible across the surface of this pool of briny water within the ocean.
Close up of briny pool
Close up view of the briny pool in the channel leading away from the brine lake.



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Juvenile blue tang (fish).  Bright yellow body with irridescent blue marking around eye and at top edge of dorsal fin.
   
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