Monday, 9 April 2012

...Why The Mariana Trench is so Deep.

The Mariana(s) Trench has been in the news lately due to our homegrown Hollywood director James Cameron making his way to the bottom of it. I'll be honest, I don't really care that he did. He's not the first to do it and won't be the last. He went down, came up, and that's about it. I'm not really sure how it helps science at all and don't know why its news worthy.
Now this is worthy.
 But why is the Mariana Trench so deep? Same reason mountains are so tall. That's right folks.....your favourite and mine.......Plate Tectonics. The trench lies on a subduction zone. That's where two plates come together and one flows underneath the other one. The Andes Mountains lie along a subduction zone. If you can picture it, you can see why a trench is formed. On top of that, since its in the Pacific, the sea bed is farther away from and large landmasses. There aren't any rivers or deltas or runoff constantly depositing silt building the floor up. Over time the sea bed kept compressing under its own weight making it deeper and deeper.

In the Mariana Trench, no one can hear your echo.

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