Exploring the 'Marine Twilight Zone' in the Gulf of Eilat, Red Sea, Israel

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Exploring the 'Marine Twilight Zone' in the Gulf of Eilat, Red Sea, Israel

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Title: Exploring the 'Marine Twilight Zone' in the Gulf of Eilat, Red Sea, Israel
Author: Ben-Shaprut, O; Goodman-Tchernov, B
Abstract: In 2003, the Marine Twilight Zone Research and Exploration (MTRX) program, a deep reef research and exploration program, was initiated at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences of Eilat (IUI). The IUI is the major marine sciences research facility in Israel and the IUI's diving center stands among the busiest research diving facilities in the world, with an average of about 3,500 dives annually. The idea of exploring the 'marine twilight zone' was born out of the fact that virtually no work had been done on the deep coral reef of the northern Red Sea. This was a particularly remarkable oversight given the unusual water clarity, and related deep light penetration in this area. We erected an infrastructure to support technical diving, as well as a training program, starting with open-circuit technical nitrox through OC trimix and finally mixed gas closed-circuit rebreathers. Hundreds of research dives have been conducted to depths of between 40 to 92 m, working on subjects as broad as deep seagrasses, coral and fish distribution and community structure, coral physiology, geological aspects of ancient reefs and bottom morphology. The MTRX program has become an important resource for researchers at the IUI.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/10201
Date: 2009

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