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In the Zone

The hadal zone, which is made up primarily of ocean trenches and troughs at depths ranging from 6,000 to 11,000 meters, is the deepest marine habitat on Earth. Due to the crushing pressures and the technical challenges involved in reaching these deep-sea environments, they remain largely unexplored. An international team led by WHOI biologist Tim Shank is currently exploring the depths of the Kermadec Trench as part of the Hadal Ecosystem Studies project. The team is using the world’s only full-ocean depth, hybrid remotely operated vehicle, Nereus, to collect biological and sediment samples. During the 40-day expedition, their work will be chronicled online in video, still images, and blog updates. (Photo by Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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