Abyssal zone


Abyssal zone
Aquatic layers
Pelagic
   Photic
      Epipelagic
   Aphotic
      Mesopelagic
      Bathyalpelagic
      Abyssopelagic
      Hadopelagic
Demersal
Benthic
Stratification
Pycnocline
   Isopycnal
   Chemocline
      Halocline
   Thermocline
      Thermohaline
Marine habitats
Lake stratification
Aquatic ecosystems
Wild fisheries
Land habitats
Layers of the pelagic zone

The abyssal zone is the abyssopelagic layer or pelagic zone that contains the very deep benthic communities near the bottom of oceans. "Abyss" derives from the Greek word ἄβυσσος, meaning bottomless. At depths of 4,000 to 6,000 metres (13,123 to 19,685 feet), this zone remains in perpetual darkness and never receives daylight. It is the deeper part of the midnight zone which starts in the bathypelagic waters above.[1][2]

Its permanent inhabitants (for example, the black swallower, tripod fish, deep-sea anglerfish and the giant squid) are able to withstand the immense pressures of the ocean depths, up to 76 megapascals (11,000 psi).[1] Many abyssal creatures have underslung jaws to sift through the sand to catch food.[2] The deep trenches or fissures that plunge down thousands of meters (feet) below the ocean floor (for example, the midoceanic trenches such as the Mariana Trench in the Pacific) are almost unexplored.[1] Only the bathyscaphe Trieste, the remote control submarine Kaiko and the Nereus have been able to descend to these depths.[3][4] These regions are also characterized by continuous cold and lack of nutrients. The abyssal zone has temperatures around 2°C to 3°C (35°F to 37°F) through the large majority of its mass.[2]

The area below the abyssal zone is the sparsely inhabited Hadal zone.[5] The zone above is the bathyal zone.[5] These three zones belong to the deep-sea realm. Above on the continental platform there are respectively the euphotic and dysphotic zones. The abyssal zone lies partially in the dysphotic and partially in the aphotic zones.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Nelson, Rob (April, 2007). "Abyssal". The Wild Classroom. http://www.thewildclassroom.com/biomes/abyssal.html. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  2. ^ a b c "Deep Sea Biome". Untamed Science. http://www.untamedscience.com/biology/world-biomes/deep-sea-biome. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  3. ^ "History of the Bathyscaph Trieste". Bathyscaphtrieste.com. http://www.bathyscaphtrieste.com/. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  4. ^ "World's deepest-diving submarine missing". USA Today (Gannett Company Inc.). 2003-07-02. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2003-07-01-Sub-missing_x.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  5. ^ a b "Abyssal". Dictionary.com. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/abyssal. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  6. ^ "Ocean zones". Advameg Inc.. http://www.scienceclarified.com/Mu-Oi/Ocean-Zones.html. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • abyssal zone — n. the ecological zone along the deep ocean floor between the bathyal and hadal zones * * * ▪ geology       portion of the ocean deeper than about 2,000 m (6,600 feet) and shallower than about 6,000 m (20,000 feet). The zone is defined mainly by… …   Universalium

  • Abyssal zone — Zone one (z[=o]n), n. [F. zone, L. zona, Gr. zw nh; akin to zwnny nai to gird, Lith. j[*u]sta a girdle, j[*u]sti to gird, Zend y[=a]h.] 1. A girdle; a cincture. [Poetic] [1913 Webster] An embroidered zone surrounds her waist. Dryden. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Abyssal zone — Abyssal A*byss al, a. [Cf. {Abysmal}.] Belonging to, or resembling, an abyss; unfathomable. [1913 Webster] {Abyssal zone} (Phys. Geog.), one of the belts or zones into which Sir E. Forbes divides the bottom of the sea in describing its plants,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • abyssal zone — n. the ecological zone along the deep ocean floor between the bathyal and hadal zones …   English World dictionary

  • abyssal zone — the middle zone of the deep sea between 3700 and 6000 metres …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • abyssal zone — /əˈbɪsəl zoʊn/ (say uh bisuhl zohn) noun → abyssopelagic zone …   Australian English dictionary

  • abyssal zone — noun the deep sea (2000 meters or more) where there is no light • Hypernyms: ↑ocean floor, ↑sea floor, ↑ocean bottom, ↑seabed, ↑sea bottom, ↑Davy Jones s locker, ↑Davy Jones * * * noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • ultra-abyssal zone — hadalė statusas T sritis ekologija ir aplinkotyra apibrėžtis Giliausia vandenyno zona (6000–8000 m), kurios biotopuose gyvena prie vandenyno gelmių ir tamsos prisitaikę organizmai. atitikmenys: angl. hadal; hadal zone; ultra abyssal zone vok.… …   Ekologijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • ultra-abyssal zone — hadal zone, q.v …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • abyssal — abyssal, ale, aux [ abisal, o ] adj. • 1885; « dont l immensité est insondable » théol. 1521; du lat. abyssus « abîme » ♦ Géogr. Des grandes profondeurs, qui a rapport aux abysses. ⇒ hadal. Fosses abyssales. Faune abyssale. ⇒ pélagique. ● abyssal …   Encyclopédie Universelle


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