Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)



First Advisor

F. D. Holland Jr


The deep-sea environment is divided into three zones: the abyssopelagic, the abyssobenthic, and the hadal zones. The ocean floor is not a smooth featureless sedimentary plain as has been believed earlier, but instead it is of rough topography with numerous irregularities, deep depressions, many high seamounts, and elongate ridges and trenches, determined largely by tectonic movements and volcanic extrusions. The sea floor is the place of accumulation of solid detrital material of organic or inorganic origin, and it is virtually covered with unconsolidated sediments. These sediments are being deposited on the ocean floor at rates which vary from place to place and are the result of a variety of sources. The sediments are derived from continental areas, coasts, and marine life; the atmosphere, rivers, ocean currents, and ice are the media of transport. The sediments consist of muds of various colors, calcareaous and siliceaous oozes, and a distinctive red clay.

Life does exist, and abundantly in many places, in the abyssal and hadal areas of the oceans. In order for this life to exist it must adapt itself to the characteristics of its environment. Some of these characteristics are poor light, low temperature, high pressure, salinity, low oxygen content, and food.