abyssal plain


: any of the great flat sediment-covered areas of ocean floor see continental shelf illustration

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The abyssal plain is a term used to describe the ocean floor at a water depth of 3,000 to 4,000 meters (around 12,000 feet), which makes up 60% of Earth’s surface, according to Roberts. Taylor Nicioli, CNN, 7 Nov. 2022 The team had discovered an undersea volcano, or seamount, on an abyssal plain—a geologically inactive region that shouldn’t have any. Akila Raghavan, Science | AAAS, 15 July 2021 Drazen is one of a select few scientists who have explored the abyssal plain ecosystem of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), where the majority of the ISA’s undersea mining contracts are located. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 May 2020 Now, seamounts have caught the eye of people interested in using sophisticated machines to mine deep-sea habitats, including hydrothermal vents and abyssal plains, that hold precious minerals. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, 12 Sep. 2019 Companies hoping to extract those metals from the seabed are focusing first on abyssal plains. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, 12 Sep. 2019 One of the first dots in question was the unusual location of the 1969 earthquake's epicenter: a featureless expanse known as the Horseshoe abyssal plain. National Geographic, 6 May 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abyssal plain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1880, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of abyssal plain was in 1880

Dictionary Entries Near abyssal plain

Cite this Entry

“Abyssal plain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abyssal%20plain. Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

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