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Deep CTD Casts in the Challenger Deep, Mariana Trench


On 1 December 1992, CTD (conductivity-temperature-depth profiler) casts were made at three stations in a north-south section of the Challenger Deep to examine temperature and salinity profiles. The station in the Challenger Deep was located at 11°22.78′ N and 142°34.95′ E, and the CTD cast was made down to 11197 db or 10877 m, 7 m above the bottom by reeling out titanium cable of 10980 m length. The southern station was located at 11° 14.19′ N and 142°34.79′ E, 16.1 km from the central station, where water depth is 9012 m. CTD was lowered to 7014 db or 6872 m. The northern station was located at 11°31.47′ N and 142° 35.30′ E, 15.9 km from the central station, and CTD was lowered to 8536 db or 8336 m, 10 m above the bottom. Below the thermocline, potential temperature decreased monotonously down to 7300–7500 db beyond a sill depth between 5500 m and 6000 m, or between 5597 db and 6112 db, of the trench. Potential temperature increased from 7500 db to the bottom at a constant rate of 0.9 m°C/1000 db. Salinity increased down to 6020–6320 db, and then stayed almost constant down to around 9000 db. From 9500 db to the bottom, salinity increased up to 34.703 psu at 11197 db. Potential density referred to 8000 db increased monotonously down to about 6200 db, and it was almost constant from 6500 db to 9500 db. Potential density increased from 9500 db in accordance with the salinity increase. Geostrophic flows were calculated from the CTD data at three stations. Below an adopted reference level of 3000 db, the flow was westward in the north of Challenger Deep and eastward in the south, which suggests a cyclonic circulation over the Challenger Deep. Sound speed in Challenger Deep was estimated from the CTD data, and a relation among readout depth of the sonic depth recorder, true depth, and pressure was examined.

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Correspondence to Keisuke Taira.

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Taira, K., Yanagimoto, D. & Kitagawa, S. Deep CTD Casts in the Challenger Deep, Mariana Trench. J Oceanogr 61, 447–454 (2005).

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  • CTD casts in Challenger Deep
  • temperature and salinity in Mariana Trench
  • geostrophic shear in the deep trench
  • sound speed in Challenger Deep
  • titanium alloy cable and the CTD winch system