From April 10 through May 20, 2014, a team of scientists and engineers from seven different research institutions will use HROV Nereus, a deep-diving remotely operated vehicle, to explore part of the Kermedec Trench, one of the deepest in world, in a systematic effort to achieve ambitious research goals.
It’s hard to believe that any part of our planet remains undiscovered. But even today a vast part of Earth has almost entirely escaped human eyes. The Hadal Zone—those parts of the global ocean more than 6,000 meters deep—is still largely unexplored. That is where we are going to learn how life can exist at extreme depths.
After initial discoveries in the mid-1800s, much of what we know about life in the deep ocean, and in the ocean trenches that form much of the Hadal Zone, comes from a handful of scientific expeditions and a few opportunistic samples of animals, sediment, and rock brought to the surface. Over the next 40 days, a team of scientists and engineers will use Nereus, a deep-diving remotely operated vehicle, to explore part of the Kermedec Trench, one of the deepest in world, in a systematic effort to achieve ambitious research goals:
The Kermadec Trench runs northeast from the North Island of New Zealand (shown in red in this animation) to the Louisville Seamount Chain. It is the fifth deepest oceanic trench in the world and formed by subduction, a geophysical process in which the Pacific tectonic plate is pushed beneath the Indo-Australian Plate. (Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Learn more about the HADES (HADal Ecosystem Studies) project.