The Deepest Place On Earth - Mariana Trench
The Deepest Place On Earth - Mariana Trench
The Mariana Trench or Marianas Trench is the deepest part of the world's oceans. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean, to the east of the Mariana Islands. The trench is about 2,550 kilometres (1,580 mi) long with an average width of 69 kilometres (43 mi). It reaches a maximum-known depth of 10,994 metres (36,070 ft) (± 40 metres [130 ft]) at a small slot-shaped valley in its floor known as the Challenger Deep, at its southern end, although some unrepeated measurements place the deepest portion at 11,034 metres (36,201 ft).

At the bottom of the trench the water column above exerts a pressure of 1,086 bars (15,750 psi), more than 1,000 times the standard atmospheric pressure at sea level. At this pressure, the density of water is increased by 4.96%, so that 95 litres of water under the pressure of the Challenger Deep would contain the same mass as 100 litres at the surface. The temperature at the bottom is 1 to 4 °C (34 to 39 °F).

The trench is not the part of the seafloor closest to the center of the Earth. This is because the Earth is not a perfect sphere; its radius is about 25 kilometres (16 mi) less at the poles than at the equator. As a result, parts of the Arctic Ocean seabed are at least 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) closer to the Earth's center than the Challenger Deep seafloor.

Xenophyophores have been found in the trench by Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers at a record depth of 10.6 kilometres (6.6 mi) below the sea surface. On 17 March 2013, researchers reported data that suggested microbial life forms thrive within the trench.

The Mariana Trench is named for the nearby Mariana Islands (in turn named Las Marianas in honor of Spanish Queen Mariana of Austria, widow of Philip IV of Spain). The islands are part of the island arc that is formed on an over-riding plate, called the Mariana Plate (also named for the islands), on the western side of the trench.


The Mariana Trench is part of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction system that forms the boundary between two tectonic plates. In this system, the western edge of one plate, the Pacific Plate, is subducted (i.e., thrust) beneath the smaller Mariana Plate that lies to the west. Crustal material at the western edge of the Pacific Plate is some of the oldest oceanic crust on earth (up to 170 million years old), and is therefore cooler and more dense; hence its great height difference relative to the higher-riding (and younger) Mariana Plate. The deepest area at the plate boundary is the Mariana Trench proper.

The movement of the Pacific and Mariana plates is also indirectly responsible for the formation of the Mariana Islands. These volcanic islands are caused by flux melting of the upper mantle due to release of water that is trapped in minerals of the subducted portion of the Pacific Plate.

                  Today we're dumping 70 million tons of global-warming pollution into the environment, 
                   and tomorrow we will dump more, and there is no effective worldwide response.
                Until we start sharply reducing global-warming pollution, I will feel that I have failed.
                                                                                                                                   Al Gore 


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