How the Sea Floor Is Studied

Topics: Ocean, Oceanography, Research vessel Pages: 1 (384 words) Published: June 4, 2013
Question: Describe How the Sea Floor is Studied:
Few locations are as remote as the deep oceans. Although we have walked on the moon and seen the surface of Mars, we have explored less than 1% of the Earth's sea floor with our own eyes. Underwater exploration is difficult. The ocean is vast and the deep seas are permanently dark and bone-chillingly cold. The pressure at great depths can reach more than 16,000 pounds (the weight of an adult elephant) per square inch. Due to the great pressures bearing down upon the floor, humans cannot physically travel there without mechanical and structural aid to withstand the weight of the water bearing down on them. The only currently way to physically travel to portions of the sea floor are submersibles, reinforced metal subs with thick quartz portals to allow the scientist to, at least partially and briefly view the dark stretches of the sea floor. Though advances in pressure suits are beginning to allow more and more deep sea exploration by the scientists themselves. Scientists also use coring and digging devices from surface ships to collect samples of the sea floor. These devices collect samples of the terrain, ranging from a few centimeters of the top layer, to multilayered columns that can be viewed.

    The vast majority of the information attained about the sea floor however is from robotic and mechanical assistance ways. Submersible robots installed with clamps and cameras, along with of course a lighting row to shine on the darkness that has never been illuminated by the sun's rays, are one of the major exploratory methods used to gain knowledge of this uncharted territory. These robots are controlled by scientist to act as there appendages on the deep sea floor, allowing them gather samples from various oceanic terrains. Different sonar techniques are currently the best way to map out the sea floor. "GLORIA" is currently the most effective technique, as this technology allows for a much wider view of the...
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