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Deep Sea Explorations

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.

Link to website for PI, Professor Ronnie N. Glud

Photo: Ashley Rowden.