Have you ever considered what happens below the surface of the ocean during a hurricane?
Believe it or not but hurricanes can be deadly for coral as well as territorial sea creatures and slow swimming fish. Faster swimming fish such as sharks tend to be sensitive to pressure changes and simply swim away of danger.
During a hurricane, fast-swimming fish, such as sharks, usually escape harm, as they can detect small pressure changes in the water, prompting them to swim deeper or farther away, according to a blog written by Brian McNoldy, a senior research associate at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. [Images: Sharks & Whales from Above]
But slower swimming or territorial fish, as well as crabs, sea turtles and oysters, typically fare poorly during hurricanes. Not only because they get smashed around by the waves but because there’s less dissolved oxygen in the water and rapid salinity changes as the ocean’s deep and shallow waters mix, McNoldy wrote.
Hurricanes are a mixed bag for coral, which can protect coastlines from waves and storms, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Studies were conduced that measures the impact of wave sizes and their resulting impact of wave movement below the surface. It was found that a wave can create a downward cone shaped movement of water to a depth that that is about half the distance between successive crests.
The larger the waves the more the impact naturally, but as explained below it is a little more complicated . Especially for larger waves and shallower waters where the downward movement of water reaches the sea-floor and then moves horizontally. Under these conditions man-made objects such as scientific devices, oceanic apparatuses as well as shipwrecks can get blasted by these waves. Treasure divers are well aware that these types of waves often cause enough sea-floor disturbances to can move wrecks and even expose hidden wrecks and treasures that were previously covered up.
See an actual hurricane’s underwater impact, as captured by a reef-cam during Hurricane Gonzalo below…
Watch the reef-cam video below to get a visual of what hurricane forces (Hurricane Gonzalo) have below the surface.
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