Abyssal plain

flat area on the ocean floor

An abyssal plain is an underwater plain on the deep ocean floor. It is usually found 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) and 6,000 metres (20,000 ft) below the surface of the water. Abyssal plains cover more than 50% of the Earth's surface. They are among the flattest and smoothest places on Earth.[1][2][3]

Abyssal plains are believed to have lots of biodiversity. They are also play an important role in ocean carbon cycling, dissolution of calcium carbonate, and atmospheric CO2 concentrations over hundreds or thousand years. Abyssal plains also have hydrothermal vents and cold seeps.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Smith, C; Deleo, F; Bernardino, A; Sweetman, A; Arbizu, P (2008). "Abyssal food limitation, ecosystem structure and climate change". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 23 (9): 518–528. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2008.05.002.
  2. Vinogradova, N.G. (1997). Advances in Marine Biology. 32. Elsevier. pp. 325–387. doi:10.1016/s0065-2881(08)60019-x. ISBN 978-0-12-026132-1.
  3. Geology and geochemistry of abyssal plains. Weaver, P. P. E., Thomson, J., Geological Society of London. Marine Studies Group. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Published for the Geological Society by Blackwell Scientific Publications. 1987. ISBN 0-632-01744-9. OCLC 14905840.CS1 maint: others (link)