abyssal plain


Definition of abyssal plain

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

Examples of abyssal plain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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, "Deep-Sea Mining’s Environmental Toll Could Last Decades," 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, "Mountains hidden in the deep sea are biological hot spots. Will mining ruin them?," 12 Sep. 2019 Companies hoping to extract those metals from the seabed are focusing first on abyssal plains. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Mountains hidden in the deep sea are biological hot spots. Will mining ruin them?," 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, "A tectonic plate may have peeled apart—and that could shrink the Atlantic Ocean," 6 May 2019

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.

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First Known Use of abyssal plain

1880, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of abyssal plain was in 1880

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Cite this Entry

“Abyssal plain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abyssal%20plain. Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on abyssal plain

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about abyssal plain

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