China completes first acoustic test in Mariana Trench
03 January 2018
A team of scientists has completed China's first ever acoustic test in the Mariana Trench, which could provide fresh insights into understanding how sound is transmitted in the deepest parts of the oceans. The new test shall determine the way sound is transmitted in the deepest part of various oceans starting from Mariana Trench.
A team of researchers from the Northwestern Polytechnical University dropped and then retrieved a particular acoustic probe into the valley located at the southern end of Mariana Trench. This valley lies around 11 kilometres under the surface of the ocean.
The particular valley is called Challenger Deep and is said to be the deepest point on earth's seabed which means, at this depth, sound is plays a crucial role due to lack of natural light. The use of the probe, allowed researchers to hear sounds occurring in the deepest segment of the ocean floor.
The researchers are now left with six more acoustic sensors to be collected from the trench, which will provide the team with ambient sea noise worth a year to determine what exists in the light deficient part of the ocean. The probes would be retrieved in November. According to experts, the acoustic probe is first of its kind experiment for China and can help determine how deep sea creatures communicate with sound.
According to the researchers the probe could also have a potential for military applications.
The acoustic probe also revealed that human discarded litter has made its way to the deep trench and to the stomachs of the animals residing in these deep parts. Thanks to the lack of food in the ocean below, the deep sea creatures ingest anything in their way which includes human pollutants like nylon, rayon, plastic etc.