Deep Marien sediments

Topics: Mariana Trench, Ocean, Oceanography Pages: 2 (691 words) Published: December 7, 2013

For my paper, I choose to explore the topic of life in deep ocean environments such as the Mariana’s Trench thus the article I read was “Life in an Ocean Extreme” by Eric Epping. This article discussed the high activity of microbial life ing these deep ocean invironments. As foundation of may deep sea benthic communities depend upon algae and bacteria that grow within the photic zone of the ocean’s surface, finding highly active living communities so deep in the ocean was unexpectided. With only 1-2% of the organic matter produced at the oceans surface expected to make it to the sea floor (about 3,700 meters) the assumption can be made that signs of active microbial life should decline at greater depths due to lack of microbial oxygen consumption which is a key measure of microbial metabolism. These findings were confirmed at about 6,000 meters deep in a location 60km south of the deepest part of the Mariana’s Trench also known as Challenger Deep which is about 11,000 meters deep. However, when studying this location the rates of oxygen consumption were twice as high along with higher rates of bacteria than those of the rates found at the location 60km south. This topic is important because this anomaly causes scientists to reaearch how life could be sustained at these depths and how a sufficient supply of organic matter could reach these depths. Through this inquiry, Ronnie Glud concluded that it was unlikely that Challenger Deep received more organic matter than the reference station 60km south through the natural flux of organic matter settling from the surface but rather that the Mariana Trench acts as a deep natural sediment trap that supports the microbial life that was observed through comparing the the abundance of Pb isotopes from both sites. This type of setting could allow for “the collection and focussing of sediments and relatively young organic matter, such as bottom-water aggregates that are recurrently suspended and deposited at shallower...
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