The Face of the Deep

  • Peter Townsend Harris


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.


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 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

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

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