Nares Deep Atlantic Ocean

From: Kim Marshall-Tilas (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Date: Mon May 20 2002 - 15:43:07 EDT


Question: Is the part of the Atlantic Ocean called Nares Deep such a
dangerous place to explore as some mythical stories once told?

Reply: Dear Julian,

The Nares Deep was discovered by Captain Nares aboard the Challenger in
December of 1872. The scientists on board made observations, soundings and
dredgings from hundreds of locations around the world.  From this data they
were able to determine the patterns of oceanic temperatures and currents as
well as charting the contours of the great ocean basins.  (Nares Deep, in
the Western Atlantic, was the deepest known part of the ocean at the time of
its discovery, and marks the top corner of the notorious "Bermuda Triangle",
hence the myths.  Later expeditions supplemented their findings, but did not
materially alter them due to the thoroughness and scope of their work, which
has made it a landmark in the history of undersea exploration.  Much of the
data gathered is still used today, and another innovative feature of the
expedition - the extensive use of photography as a means of keeping records
- has assured it of a place in history.  There is an excellent book about
the expedition written by Eric Linklater, called The Voyage of the
Challenger.

There is a sunken World War II Japanese submarine located in this area at a
depth of five and a half kilometers that researchers are trying to salvage.
To work on such a project researchers would likely operate from the Cape
Verde Islands, the closest landmass. They would probably choose to use a
remotely operated vehicle because of the great depth and risk.

I hope this answers your question. Thank you!
Kim

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Kim Marshall-Tilas
Executive Director
Ocean Alliance
(Encompassing the Whale Conservation Inst. & the Voyage of the Odyssey)
191 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA 01773
781-259-0423 x 14 fax: 781-259-0288
www.oceanalliance.org www.pbs.org/odyssey



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