The deep hadal trenches are the most remote parts of the global ocean, representing some of the most extreme and scantly explored habitats on Earth.
Hadal trenches are also likely hotspots of organic matter deposition fueling biogeochemical cycling in largely unexplored marine ecosystems.
The center of excellence, HADAL, aims to unravel the diversity of life and the dynamics of elemental cycling in hadal trenches.
With pioneering developments in hadal mooring systems, autonomous in situ instrumentation and experimental high‐pressure chambers, we will:
- investigate how material is transported to and deposited in hadal trenches,
- unravel how life decomposes organic matter and cycles elements and nutrients in hadal settings,
- explore the composition and function of the unique microbial and meiofaunal communities that flourish in these extreme environments.
We will compare trenches from contrasting oceanic settings to resolve whether they act as isolated biogeographic habitats dominated by unique co‐evolving microbial communities or if they represent interconnected extreme environments.
Overall, HADAL will define the biogeochemical and the biological function and diversity of the “mare incognitum” of hadal trenches, adding these unique environments to our understanding of the global ocean.
Use the top right burger menu to find more information about our hadal research.
Photo: Ashley Rowden.