New discoveries in the Mariana Trench|Seabed Abysmal

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March 19, 2012

New discoveries in the Mariana Trench


An ocean mapping expedition has provided new data on the deepest place on Earth, the Mariana Trench (2,500 km long) in the western Pacific Ocean near Guam (also known as Guam)

Using high-tech equipment to inspect the ocean floor, scientists mapped the entire Mariana Trench, about 400,000 square kilometers.

The researchers found four "bridges" spread over the pit, and its deepest point measured with an accuracy greater than the maximum reached before.

The four bridges are raised to a maximum height of 2,500 feet above his bed. Although satellite images have suggested that the pit could be traversed by a mountain range like that, the mapping mission team of James Gardner and Andrew Armstrong, both of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and Joint Hydrographic Center, University of dependent New Hampshire and NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric U.S.) confirmed the existence of these four mountain by way of bridges.

These mountain ranges in the pit are the actual result of the progressive collision between the Pacific tectonic plate, which has about 180 million years old, and plate tectonics in the Philippines, which is much younger.

Gardner assumed that the bridges are associated with subduction zones generate earthquakes, such as that caused the March 2011 in Japan

Gardner assumed that the bridges are associated with subduction zones generate earthquakes, such as that caused the March 2011 in Japan. That terrible earthquake occurred within a tectonic zone that usually generates large earthquakes. Japan relies on two major tectonic plates:

To the north, the North American plate. And to the south, the Eurasian plate. Just south of the Eurasian plate, is the small plate of the Philippines. And this, is the massive Pacific plate.

These plates move relative to each other at a rate of about ten centimeters per year, causing tremors regularly or undetectable.

The expedition also obtained the most precise measurement to date of the Challenger Deep, located in the Mariana Trench. It is in the hadal zone, deeper than the abyss. It is an abyss into a pit, and is the deepest point of the pit (and Earth).

The new measurement of this gap indicates that its depth is 10,994 meters, with a margin of error of 40 meters more or less. That depth covers an area larger than for example the height of Mount Everest.

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