The potential influence of bioluminescence from marine animals on a deep sea underwater neutrino telescope array in the Mediterranean Sea

Imants G. Priede, Alan Jamieson, Amandine Heger, Jessica Craig, Alain F. Zuur

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The density of bioluminescent organisms in the water column was measured using a vertically descending impact screen technique at experimental underwater neutrino telescope sites in the Eastern Mediterranean (Ionian Sea NESTOR 36 degrees 37'N 21 degrees 21'E) and in the Western Mediterranean Sea (Ligurian Sea ANTARES 42 degrees 25'N 6 degrees 11'E). The mean density at depths > 1500 m in the Ligurian Sea was 0.622 m(-3) and at 1500-2500 in in the Ionian Sea it was 0.068 m(-3). At greater depths in the Ionian Sea, density decreased to 0.043 m(-3) at 2500-3500 m and 0.018 m(-3) at > 3500 m. At these densities it is predicted that the effect of natural background bioluminescence would be negligible in its effect on the telescope. Modelling encounter of bioluminescent organisms carried in deep-sea currents impinging on a telescope photo-detector predicts bioluminescent flashes, 16.59 h(-1) at ANTARES and at NESTOR 1.84 h(-1) at 1500-2500 m depth, 1.16 h(-1) at 2500-3500 m and 0.49 h(-1) at > 3500 m. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1474-1483
Number of pages10
JournalDeep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
Issue number11
Early online date5 Jul 2008
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • bioluminescence
  • neutrino telescope
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • KM3NeT
  • Atlantic-Ocean
  • Pacific-Ocean
  • copepod
  • siphonophores
  • luminescence
  • stimulation
  • ctenophores
  • patterns
  • tunicata
  • plankton

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