The sudden appearance of sea cucumbers on the Venetian Beach of Sambas makes you curious. It’s gone viral, it turns out this phenomenon is rare!
Venice Beach is located in Pinang Merah Hamlet, Simpang Empat Village, Tangaran District, Sambas Regency, West Kalimantan. Judging from social media, thousands of sea cucumbers fill the lips of Venice Beach.
“This phenomenon has gone viral because it is a rare event,” said Widodo Setiyo Pranowo, a researcher from the Marine and Coastal Data Laboratory of the Marine Research Center, the Research and Human Resources Agency of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP).
West Kalimantan itself is being hit by extreme weather. Storms and winds reportedly made the sea scary on Wednesday (14/7).
“I then observed data on winds, clouds, rainfall, storms, and significant sea wave heights from satellites and models that might record extreme events from ocean-atmosphere interactions. Then I also did forecasts or predictions of advance elevation sea due to tides,” he said.
Based on the predicted sea level elevation due to the tides generated by the gravitational force of the moon and the sun, information will be obtained about the type of tide in the Sambas Coastal Waters.
Geographically, the Sambas Coastal Waters is located in a transitional area of two tidal types, namely the Diurnal type and the Semi Diurnal Mixed type. Tides will be called Diurnal type, when in 1 (one) day there is 1 (one) time of high tide sea level and 1 (one) time of low tide.
Tidal Prediction of the Sambas Coastal Waters (Widodo Pranowo/Special)
While the mixed type of tide tends to be diurnal, it occurs if sometimes there is one high tide and one low tide in one day. However, sometimes there are also two high tides and two low tides with the sea level elevation when the tide is not the same height.
“On July 14, 2021, the condition of sea level elevation at high tide, namely the condition that occurred between 01:00 WIB and 06:00 WIB was the first suspicion of the cause of the sea cucumbers being carried at the bottom of the shallow waters of Sambas to the beach. This is based on the fact that generally when the sea level is at high tide, the current going to the coast is quite fast,” he explained.
The sea level elevation in the waters of Sambas has two different heights in 1 (one) day, namely 0.4 meters and 0.8 meters, with the distance between the two peaks is about 10 hours.
“However, the first assumption is actually still not strong enough, because when I saw the number of sea cucumbers that were stranded, it was very much. So my thought was that of course it needed a greater amount of energy to lift the sea cucumbers in very large numbers so quickly that they were very strand extends along the coast of Sambas,” he explained.
According to Widodo, there is an energy coupling between the condition of sea level elevation at high tide plus the energy of lifting water masses by extreme winds. To strengthen this assumption, observations were made on several datasets resulting from modeling of ocean-climate interactions provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA America) and Deutscher Wetterdients (German Weather and Climate Agency).
“I also observed datasets of terrestrial satellite imagery (Himawari and Meteosat Satellites) provided by the Japan Meteorology Agency (Japan Meteorological Agency). The results of my observations showed a very interesting phenomenon of ocean-atmosphere interaction occurring on July 13-14, 2021,” he said.
Himawari and Meteosat satellites show clouds in the Karimata Strait Photo: (Widodo Pranowo/Special)
The Himawari and Meteosat satellites have detected cloud growth since July 13, 2021, starting from the Java Sea. The cloud then moves to the west through the Karimata Strait then turns east to the Natuna Sea and continues to the South China Sea.
“The cloud propagation also passes through most of the land on the west side of Kalimantan Island. The direction of this wind movement is in accordance with the character of the East/Southeast Monsoon winds which generally occur in Indonesia from June to August,” he said.
The wind blowing over the Karimatan Strait on July 14 brought clouds at 01.00-06.00 WIB with speeds ranging from 40 to 60 kilometers per hour. This means that the wind is strong gusts approaching the category of strong winds (Scale 5-7 Beaufort).
The strong wind is thought to be caused by differences in air pressure both horizontally and vertically. Strong winds horizontally are expected to generate significant wave heights in Sambas waters ranging from 1.5 to 1.9 meters.
The difference in vertical air pressure is due to the presence of sea surface temperature which heats up (convection) the air temperature above sea level. The potential energy generated at 01.00-04.00 WIB is estimated to be between 600 and 1000 Joules per kilogram of air mass. So that it generates lightning even with low intensity that accompanies the rain (presumably 6-11 millimeters) during that time.
“As a temporary conclusion from the alleged cause of the stranding of millions of sea cucumbers on Sambas Beach, there is a combination or coupling of the energy of the sea level gradient towards high tide and the wave energy due to strong winds with rather extreme intensity,” he said
The sea cucumbers at the bottom of shallow waters are then transported and washed up on the beach. This rather extreme condition was also marked by low intensity thunderstorms and rain.
“This is also confirmed from the model dataset, satellite imagery, and testimonies of local residents. However, in the future more in-depth research is still needed to re-examine this provisional conclusion,” he concluded.
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