Researchers working off the coast of Japan have drilled a hole in the Pacific seabed that is the deepest ever in any ocean.
On May 14, scientists aboard JAMSTEC’s research vessel Kaimei lowered a giant piston corer nearly 5 miles (8,000 meters) through the Pacific Ocean for two hours and 40 minutes until the drill finally reached the bottom of the Japan Trench. There, the team extracted a 120-foot-long (37-meter) sediment core from the bottom of the sea before slowly hauling the corer up again.
The drill site is located very close to the epicenter of a 9.1 magnitude earthquake that hit the region in 2011 and produced a gargantuan tsunami that caused devastation when it hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
By studying sediment from this area, the researchers hope to learn more about the trench’s ancient earthquake history.
Source: Live Science