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Our Vision and Research Goals

Ocean floor model - Kermadec Trench

Hadal trenches are located at 6-11 km ocean depth and are currently less accessible to humans than the Moon. Representing the most extreme and remote of marine environments, they remain virtually unexplored and continue to challenge - and drive - technological advances towards deep sea exploration and the search for new marine resources.

Our vision at HADAL is to pioneer this development through innovation, collaborations and multidisciplinary research. Using hadal mooring systems, autonomous in situ instrumentation and experimental high-pressure chambers, our research at the greatest ocean depths aims to define the biogeochemical and biological function and diversity of the “mare incognitum” of hadal trenches, adding these unique environments to our understanding of the global ocean.

Our key research goals are:

  • To investigate how material is transported to and deposited in hadal trenches
  • To uncover new life forms adapted to this extreme environment and quantify the phylogenetic diversity, composition and function of hadal benthic microbial and viral communities
  • To unravel how hadal conditions and extreme pressure shape basic biological functions, biological interactions, deep-sea biogeography and elemental cycling

For more about HADAL, dive into these news features

“The overall aim for HADAL is to explore life, its function and importance, in the deepest and least explored realm of the global ocean.”

Ronnie Glud, Professor and Director of HADAL

Hadal Trenches

  • Hadal trenches are located at 6-11 km ocean depth
  • Resulting from tectonic plate movement, they may reach thousands of kilometers in length and be up to 60 km wide. 
  • Hot-spots of microbial activity occur within the trenches.
  • Little is known about the role of hadal trenches and their associated - potentially undiscovered life forms - in global element cycles.
Danish Center for Hadal Research Department of Biology University of Southern Denmark
  • Campusvej 55
  • Odense M - DK-5230
  • Phone: +45 6550 2732

Last Updated 08.09.2021