Friday, May 26, 2006

An Abyss

It's funny that we know more about space than we do about what's under the ocean. Distance isn't a barrier this time, it is the water. Pressure inscreases as you go deeper in water and the refraction of like eventually scatters all the light before you get too deep. On average the depth of the ocean is 4000 meters. But it can get much deeper in some areas. As I have explained in a previous blog about subduction zones, a trench is formed as one plate slips under another plate. These trenches can get very deep. The deepest trench is the Mariana Trench by the Mariana Islands. The trench is over 11,000 meters deep. A few brave fellow tried to see how deep they could go. The famous HMS Challenger II made the trip out there and the submersible called Trieste made the trip down. The men were in for a scare when the 3 inch plexiglass window cracked on the way down. The though if it broke they would be goners anyway so the proceeded to find the deepest point. They came very close, close enough to consider it to be the deepest and the men made it back alive. Anything deeper than 4000 meters is considered abyssalpelagic. If it is a plain, it is an abyssal plain.

"...when you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks back into you."
-Friedrich Nietzsche


Post a Comment

<< Home