The KOBs are special in that the researchers can precisely control various environmental parameters in each chamber, including seawater temperature, salinity, pH or oxygen content. In the course of the study, the participants simulated the temperatures of the year within the KOBs. That's why this year was a good baseline for our experiment," says Dr. The organisms in four of the experimental chambers experienced the temperatures.
In four chambers, the scientists applied an additional summer heat wave in August. In the last four chambers, the species community experienced two weaker heat waves in June and July, before reaching the severe summer heat wave in August.
About half of the species in the KOBs showed clear reactions to the heat waves.
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Some species showed negative effects, which accumulated over the three heat waves, while other species coped better with the summer heat after experiencing the two spring warming events. So, if the frequency and intensity of heatwaves increases in the future, there will be winners and losers in coastal ecosystems. The current structure of the species is likely to shift.
However, not all relevant factors have been examined in detail yet. Currently in the Kiel Indoor Benthocosms another long-term experiment dealing with the effects of heat waves is being conducted.
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Here the focus is on the impact of longer and more severe heat waves. Also in the current experiment in the Kiel Outdoor Benthocosms, warming supplemented by phases of oxygen depletion is an factor. To date, it has been entirely unknown if and how movement continues under water, as satellite-based measurements are impossible below the ocean surface.
The results confirm that the entire southeastern flank is in motion. The driving force of flank movement is most likely gravity, and not the ascent of magma, as previously assumed. Catastrophic collapse involving the entire flank or large parts of it cannot be excluded and would trigger a major tsunami with extreme effects in the region.
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The results of the study have been published today in the international journal Science Advances. Morelia Urlaub, lead author of the study.Bauch und Kopf - Mark Forster (Luca W.)
In Aprilthe GEOMAR team placed a total of five acoustic monitoring transponder stations across the fault line that represents the boundary between the sliding flank and the stable slope. During their mission each transponder was sending an acoustic signal every 90 minutes. Since the speed of sound in water is known, the travel time of the signals between transponders gave information on the distances between transponders on the seafloor with a precision of less than one centimeter.
The flank slipped by four centimeters seawards and subsided by one centimeter within a period of eight days," explains Dr.
This movement can be compared to a very slow earthquake, a so-called "slow slip event". It was the first time that the horizontal movement of such a slow slip event was recorded under water. In total, the system delivered data for about 15 months.
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