01 August 2012

200 Pilot Whales in Deep Trouble Northwest of Iceland


Whale Dangerous earthquake swarm:  A series of 11 mid-ocean ridge earthquakes in the Greenland Sea induces barosinusitis in a pod of ~200 pilot whales. (Read how undersea earthquakes cause sinus barotrauma in an entire pod of diving whales.

Starting on the night of 13 July and continuing until 18 July 2012, eleven volcanic-tectonic earthquakes struck along the riff valley of the mid-ocean ridge system 56 km (34 miles) NNW of Jan Mayen Island in the Greenland Sea.  


Some of these events were especially dangerous to diving whales because they were focused  less than 2 km deep. These events were associated with volcanic activity at the center of the rift valley.

A pod of about 200 pilot whales feeding on the abundant squid in the area were injured (barosinusitis and barotitis media) by the repeated exposure to rapid and excessive pressure changes induced into the water when the seabed danced vertically during this disturbance.

Since the air in the air sacs and sinuses of the whale's head serve as acoustic mirrors, and since the air in the middle-ear cavities serve to aide hearing, barotrauma in the sinuses and middle ears knocked out their biosonar and destroyed their ability to echo-navigate along with the ability to dive and feed themselves.

The injured pod huddled close to each other for protection against sharks, and swam away from the epicenter in a random direction.  In less than a minute, increased resistance to  the flow of the surface currents in every direction except with the flow, turned the entire pod and pointed that downstream toward the Northwestern Coast of Iceland.

Plodding along at about 3 km per hour inside a 2 km surface current, the seismically-wounded pod arrived offshore near Reykjavik, Iceland on the night of 28 July 2012. They swam about 850 miles in about 5 days, covering about 150 miles per day.

In many of the films below, one can see them raising their heads out of the water, looking toward shore, trying to fix the location of the treacherous rocks. Spyhopping indicates the pod is obviously knows their echonavigation is not working.

They will continue to swim with the flow of the surface currents which will likely take them toward the southern tip of Greenland. It's doubtful that they will survive long enough to cross the Davis Strait and reach Newfoundland.

weblinks: http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/daily_news/Video_Whales_Saved_from_Beaching_in_Iceland_0_392128.news.aspx http://www.ravingravens.com/blog/2012/07/over-100-pilot-whales-rescued-from-stranding-in-iceland-today.html


Site Map for http://deafwhale.com  

Dec 09: Whale Dangerous Earthquake South of Perth 
Dec 09: Seaquake causes dolphins to strand Baja California   
Nov 23: Seaquakes kill 322 baleen whales in Chile    (shocking)  
Aug 24: NOAA whale scientists dumbfounded   
Aug 14: stranded dolphin is determined to be deaf   
Aug 08: seaquake causes pilot whales to strand Nova Scotia   
Jul   27: is our stranding solution flawed as scientists claim   
Jun  01: pilots stranded Isles of Skye from Reykjanes Ridge   
May 22: dead whales washing ashore on the California Coast   
May 10: earthquake kills 20 Sei Whales near Chile Coast   
Apr  10: seaquake strands 150 melon-headed whales in Japan   

Dec 25: navigation failure in mass stranded whales  (most popular)   
Dec 08: seaquake causes 7 sperm whales to beach Australia   
Nov 24: seaquake beaches 3 sperm whales at Golden Bay   
Nov 04: seaquake beaches 60 pilot whales in Bay of Plenty   
Oct 29: nine pilot whales strand on Prince Edward Island   
Apr  11: 60 pilot whales beach in Bay of Plenty   
Mar 20: Cape Ray Newfoundland 37 dolphins beach   
Mar 14: undersea quakes louder than nuclear explosions   
Mar 13: seaquakes cause whale strandings 32 million years   
Mar 02: blue whale killed by seaquake in Kuwait   
Feb 27: seaquake kills young killer whale   
Feb 23: predicting mass beachings based on seaquakes   
Feb 21: lessons in understanding why whales beach   
Feb 18: seaquake Greenland Sea kills 3 sperm whales   
Feb 12: nine orcas killed by seaquake   
Jan 30: Cape Cod mass stranding predicted   
Jan 20: seaquake causes 39 pilot whales to strand Florida   
Jan 16: seaquakes beach 65 pilot whales in Golden Bay   
Jan 05: seaquake beaches 30 pilot whales in Golden Bay   

Dec 06: why did pilot whales beached in the everglades?   
Apr 30: seaquake beaches 6 killer whales in Iceland   
Apr 25: beached whales stop war games   

Dec 08: seaquake beach pilot whales South Carolina   
Nov 15: pilot whales beach at Golden Bay, New Zealand   
Nov 04: seaquake causes two pods to beach at King Island   
Oct 28:  pilot whales strand on North Andaman Island   
Oct 17: earthquakes cause New Zealand whale stranding   
Sep 09: earthquake kills pregnant sperm whale   
Sep 03: seaquake strands pilot whales in Scotland   
Aug 24: two quakes cause near beaching in Cape Verde   
Jul  28:  200 Pilot Whales Northwest of Iceland   
Mar 19: Four Sperm Whales Wash Ashore in China   

Dec  31: world's rarest whales killed by earthquake   
Mar 06: 52 melon-headed dolphins strand in Japan   

Nov 20: 52 Pilot Whales Stranded in Tasmania


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