Deepest point of the fifth ocean of the Earth

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers have published the most detailed map to date of Antarctica‘s cold Southern Ocean and plotted it, including the Factorian Trench, 7,437 meters deep.

Despite the fact that this point has less depth than the well-known Mariana Trench, it is surprising primarily for its location.

The Factorian Deep was discovered in 2019 by American explorer and entrepreneur Victor Vescovo as part of his Five Deeps expedition, which aimed to map the deepest points of the world’s five oceans.

Vescovo personally piloted a submersible called the Limiting Factor to the bottom of the South Sandwich Trench of the Atlantic Ocean, a submarine canyon that spans approximately 965 kilometers of seabed between South America and Antarctica.

The trench crosses the 60th parallel south, an invisible circle of latitude that lies 60 degrees south of the equator, separating the Atlantic and Southern Oceans.

Vescovo’s expedition mapped the entire length of the South Sandwich Trench for the first time, finding the new deepest point in the Southern Ocean south of the 60th parallel.

The deepest point of the Southern Ocean

Now the Factorian Trench was marked for the first time on a map of the seafloor. Its depth is 7437 meters. The maximum depth of the Mariana Trench is 11,022 meters.

In a new study published in the journal Scientific Data, an international team of researchers has included the Factorian Trench in an extensive new map of the seamounts, canyons and plateaus of the Southern Ocean.

The new map is based on more than 1,200 sonar datasets, collected in large part by science vessels from around the world and the icebreakers that cut their way.

The seabed map covers over 48 million square kilometers of the seabed, more than double the size of the first IBCSO region map that was released in 2013.

But no matter how big the new map looks, it accurately describes only 23% of the region’s area. So scientists still have a lot of work to do.


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