Advertisement

The Face of the Deep

  • Peter Townsend Harris
Chapter

Abstract

Still on board our hover car, in this chapter we will explore the deep ocean’s submarine canyons, seamounts, plateaus, deep ocean trenches, and the mid-ocean ridge. We will meet pioneer marine geologist Francis Shepard and learn how submarine canyons are formed by underwater landslides. We will learn that there is a connection between the testing of nuclear bombs in the Pacific and Charles Darwin’s theory for the formation of coral atolls. We will learn about Zealandia, the 8th undiscovered continent. We will ponder what creatures inhabit deep-sea sediments leaving only traces in the mud of their existence and what happens to its body when a whale dies. Will humans mine manganese nodule deposits on the deep ocean floor, knowing that once destroyed this habitat will never recover? To mine or not to mine – it is a moral dilemma.

Keywords

Continental slope Submarine canyon Zhemchug Canyon Francis Shepard Turbidity current Cold-water corals Trench Hadal zone Red clay Seamounts Darwin’s atoll theory Guyots Atlantis Submarine plateau Carbonate compensation depth Manganese nodules Hydrothermal vents 

References

  1. Broecker, W. S. (2003). The oceanic CaCO3 cycle. In H. D. Holland & K. K. Turekian (Eds.), Treatise on geochemistry (pp. 529–549). Amsterdam: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cairns, S. D. (2007). Deep-water corals: An overview with special reference to diversity and distribution of deep-water scleractinian corals. Bulletin of Marine Science, 81, 311–322.Google Scholar
  3. Carey, R. J., Wysoczanski, R., Wunderman, R., & Jutzeler, M. (2014). Discovery of the largest historic silicic submarine eruption. Eos, 95, 157–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Corliss, J. B., Dymond, J., Gordon, L. I., Edmond, J. M., von Herzen, R. P., Ballard, R. D., Green, K., Williams, D., Bainbridge, A., Crane, K., & van Andel, T. H. (1979). Submarine thermal springs on the Galapagos rift. Science, 203, 1073–1083.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Frey, F. A., Coffin, M. F., Wallace, P. J., Weis, D., Zhao, X., Wise, S. W., Wähnert, V., Teagle, D. A. H., Saccocia, P. J., Reusch, D. N., Pringle, M. S., Nicolaysen, K. E., Neal, C. R., Müller, R. D., Moore, C. L., Mahoney, J. J., Keszthelyi, L., Inokuchi, H., Duncan, R. A., Delius, H., Damuth, J. E., Damasceno, D., Coxall, H. K., Borre, M. K., Boehm, F., Barling, J., Arndt, N. T., & Antretter, M. (2000). Origin and evolution of a submarine large igneous province: The Kerguelen plateau and Broken Ridge, southern Indian Ocean. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 176(1), 73–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Harris, P. T. (2011). Benthic environments of the Lord Howe rise submarine plateau: Introduction to the special volume. Deep Sea Research Part II, 58, 883–888.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Harris, P. T., & Whiteway, T. (2011). Global distribution of large submarine canyons: Geomorphic differences between active and passive continental margins. Marine Geology, 285, 69–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Harris, P. T., MacMillan-Lawler, M., Rupp, J., & Baker, E. K. (2014). Geomorphology of the oceans. Marine Geology, 352, 4–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Heezen, B. C., & Hollister, C. D. (1971). The face of the deep (p. 659). Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Hovland, M. (2008). Deep-water coral reefs: Unique biodiversity hotspots (p. 278). Chichester, UK: Praxis Publishing (Springer).Google Scholar
  11. Koslow, J. A., Auster, P., Bergstad, O. A., Roberts, J. M., Rogers, A., Vecchione, M., Harris, P. T., Rice, J., & Bernal, P. (2015). Biological communities on seamounts and other submarine features potentially threatened by disturbance. In: L. Inniss, A. Simcock, & others (Eds.), United Nations World Ocean Assessment. http://www.un.org/Depts/los/global_reporting/WOA_RegProcess.htm
  12. Marsh, L., Huvenne, V. A. I., & Jones, D. O. B. (2018). Geomorphological evidence of large vertebrates interacting with the seafloor at abyssal depths in a region designated for deep-sea mining. Royal Society Open Science, 5(8), 180286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Normark, W. R., & Carlson, P. R. (2003). Giant submarine canyons: Is size any clue to their importance in the rock record? Geological Society of America Special Paper, 370, 175–190.Google Scholar
  14. Piper, D. J. W., Cochonate, P., & Morrison, M. L. (1999). The sequence of events around the epicentre of the 1929 grand banks earthquake: Initiation of debris flows and turbidity current inferred from side scan sonar. Sedimentology, 46, 79–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Puig, P., Canals, M., Company, J. B., Martı’n, J., Amblas, D., Lastras, G., Palanques, A., & Calafat, A. M. (2012). Ploughing the deep sea floor. Nature, 489, 286–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Purser, A., Marcon, Y., Hoving, H. J., Vecchione, M., Piatkowski, U., Eason, D., Bluhm, H., & Boetius, A. (2016). Association of deep-sea incirrate octopods with manganese crusts and nodule fields in the Pacific Ocean. Current Biology, 26(24), R1268–R1269.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.10.052.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Salinas-de-León, P., Phillips, B., Ebert, D., Shivji, M., Cerutti-Pereyra, F., Ruck, C., Fisher, C. R., & Marsh, L. (2018). Deep-sea hydrothermal vents as natural egg-case incubators at the Galapagos rift. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 1788.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-20046-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Smith, C. R., & Baco, A. R. (2003). Ecology of whale falls at the deep sea floor. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, 41, 311–354.Google Scholar
  19. Sumaila, U. R., Lam, V. W. Y., Miller, D. D., Teh, L., Watson, R. A., Zeller, D., Cheung, W. W. L., Côté, I. M., Rogers, A. D., Roberts, C., Sala, E., & Pauly, D. (2015). Winners and losers in a world where the high seas is closed to fishing. Scientific Reports, 5, 8481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Van Dover, C. L. (2011). Tighten regulations on deep-sea mining. Nature, 470(7332), 31–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Van Dover, C. L., Aronson, J., Pendleton, L., Smith, S., Arnaud-Haond, S., Moreno-Mateos, D., Barbier, E., Billett, D., Bowers, K., Danovaro, R., Edwards, A., Kellert, S., Morato, T., Pollard, E., Rogers, A., & Warner, R. (2014). Ecological restoration in the deep sea: Desiderata. Marine Policy, 44(0), 98–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Van Dover, C. L., Ardron, J. A., Escobar, E., Gianni, M., Gjerde, K. M., Jaeckel, A., Jones, D. O. B., Levin, L. A., Niner, H. J., Pendleton, L., Smith, C. R., Thiele, T., Turner, P. J., Watling, L., & Weaver, P. P. E. (2017). Biodiversity loss from deep-sea mining. Nature Geoscience, 10, 464–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Townsend Harris
    • 1
  1. 1.GRID-ArendalArendalNorway

Personalised recommendations