Coastal and Oceanic Landform (02.Abyssal Plain)

02.Abyssal Plain                                                                                                                     Back to Coastal and Oceanic Landforms

  • Abyssal plains cover more than 50% of the Earth’s surface.
  • An abyssal plain also known as underwater plain on the deep ocean floor.
  • It usually depths between 3000 -6000 m.
  • These submarine surfaces  depth only from 10 -100 cm per kilometre of horizontal distance. 
  • Abyssal plains consist of beds of volcanic rock topped with sediments that are up to thousands of feet thick.
  • They are  the flattest, smoothest ,least explored on Earth.
  • Abyssal plains result from the blanketing surface of oceanic crust.
  • Fine-grained sediments are clay & silt.
  • Sediment is deposited by turbidity currents.
  •  These have been  channelled from the continental margins along submarine canyons down into deeper water.
  • Concentrations of metals are; 


  •  Abyssal plains are most common in the Atlantic & the Pacific.
  • Abyssal plains are  major reservoir of biodiversity.
  •  The abyss exerts ocean carbon cycling.
  • Dissolution of Calcium carbonate & Atmospheric CO2 
  • Many species have adapted to the harsh conditions. They eat a “snow” of dead organic matter that falls from the upper layers of the ocean. Because of the cold, they have slow metabolisms.

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