In DepthOcean Science

'Five Deeps' mission to explore mysterious ocean trenches

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Science  21 Dec 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6421, pp. 1342-1343
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6421.1342

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Summary

A rich investor with a penchant for exploration is providing a rare opportunity for scientists to study inaccessible, mysterious ocean trenches. Victor Vescovo of Dallas, Texas, wants to be the first person to visit the deepest point in each of the five oceans. This week, he was scheduled to complete his first dive, into the Puerto Rico Trench, in the yearlong Five Deeps Expedition. Vescovo has bought a former research vessel and commissioned a submersible that can dive to 11,000 meters. Thanks to new sonar, the expedition will yield high-resolution maps that could offer clues about how ocean trenches form when tectonic plates plunge into the mantle. With biological samples collected by three scientific landers, the dives will give researchers an unprecedented global survey of the ecosystems that have evolved in these isolated, exotic habitats.

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