Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Oregon Coast Scientists' Discovery: Mariana Trench is Noisy

Published 03/02/2016 at 4:01 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Photo: researchers deploy the hydrophone into the trench

(Newport, Oregon) – A group of researchers – mostly from the Oregon coast area – recently spent a considerable amount of time far from these shores and deeper than most have ever gone. The band of explorers eavesdropped on the famed Mariana Trench, near Micronesia, discovering a cacophony of noises down some 36,000 feet – about seven miles. (Photo: researchers deploy the hydrophone into the trench).

What surprised them was the mish-mash of both natural and man-made sounds, when they expected to hear nearly nothing. Everything from ship traffic, whales to even earthquakes was heard, using a a titanium-encased hydrophone.

The researchers were from Oregon State University, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Guard, including some connected with the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. For three weeks, the group plunged the hydrophone into the trough known as Challenger Deep, in a project designed to establish a baseline for ambient noise in the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean. Scientists wanted to know more about human-caused noise down below and if that was growing.

Instead they found a rich sound environment created by nature as well. Robert Dziak, a NOAA research oceanographer and chief scientist on the project, said they thought a place so deep would be nearly silent. Yet they heard the sounds of earthquakes creaking and rumbling close by and far away. Whales moaned and sang. Then a category 4 typhoon created an “overwhelming clamor” overhead. Ship traffic and their propellers made their presence known as well.

Dziak's group recorded a loud magnitude 5.0 earthquake that happened about six miles down, at a point where the hydrophone was actually slightly lower than the quake itself.

“The sound of the typhoon was also dramatic, although the cacophony from big storms tends to be spread out and elevates the overall noise for a period of days,” Dziak said.

Oregon-based ocean engineer Haru Matsumoto said getting these initial recordings was not easy. Pressures at the depth of seven miles are incredible, and NOAA's Chris Meinig had to help develop a device that could survive that.

“It is akin to sending a deep-space probe to the outer solar system,” Dziak said. “We’re sending out a deep-ocean probe to the unknown reaches of inner space.”

OSU's Joe Haxel will lead another return to Challenger Deep in 2017, where the researchers will deploy the hydrophone for a longer period of time and attach a deep-ocean camera.

Dziak, Matsumoto and Haxel are affiliated with the Acoustics Program in the NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and work at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. The project in Challenger Deep is one of a number of projects in which the U.S. Coast Guard partners with NOAA to sponsor scientific research. More about Oregon Coast Science. Oregon Coast Lodgings for this - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

More on the Hatfield and Newport below:



 

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss
Pacific City, Oregon

 


 


Coastal Spotlight

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

High Surf Advisory: 25-foot Breakers on Oregon Coast Possible for Days
The bulk of the Oregon coast is currently under a high surf advisory
Meteor Shower, Comet Above Oregon and the Coast - Sort Of
The Geminids and comet 46P/Wirtanen are happening but mostly covered up. Astronomy, weather
Oregon Coast Officials Seek Input on Bike Route, Kite Festival Theme
Improvements to the bike route on 101, Lincoln City's festival theme contest
First Day Hikes: New Year's Walks Beyond the Oregon Coast
Astoria events, Seaside events, Manzanita events, Rockaway Beach events, Pacific City events, Lincoln City events, Depoe Bay events, Newport events, Florence events
N. Oregon Coast's Tillamook County Twinkles with Train Rides, Light Festival
A bevy of coziness-inducing events and a countywide celebration of lights Manzanita events, Rockaway Beach events, Tillamook events, Pacific City events
Sign Up for the Oregon Coast Email Newsletter
Receive weather alerts / travel alerts, exclusive deals on lodging and other means of fun. Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Tillamook, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Yachats
King Tides Project Needs Help from Oregon Coast Photo Aficionados
King Tides Project is asking for your photographic assistance. Sciences
Sneaker Wave Advisory for S. Oregon Coast; Northern Half Large Display
Increased dangers down south while the upper half will still get a show

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging
Rentals
Specials

Dining

Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details