China’s Fendouzhe Submersible Sets New World Record in Deep-Sea Exploration

Recently, China’s Fendouzhe deep-sea manned submersible aka. Striver set a new world record by reaching the deepest point of the Diamantina Trench at over 10,000 meters. This success is being touted as a major achievement in the field of deep-sea exploration.

Diamantina Trench

The Diamantina Trench is a submarine trench located in the eastern Indian Ocean, near the coast of Western Australia. It is the deepest point in the Indian Ocean and the third-deepest point in the world’s oceans, with a depth of around 8,047 meters.

The trench was formed by the subduction of the Australian Plate beneath the Sunda Plate. The trench is named after the Diamantina, a ship that surveyed the area in the 19th century. The trench is located in a remote and inhospitable area, and as a result, very little is known about its geology or the life that exists there. The trench is an area of intense pressure and cold temperatures, with the bottom of the trench being constantly bathed in a layer of hydrogen sulphide.

About Recent Exploration

An abyss expedition team was launched in October 2022 by Institute of Deep Sea Science and Engineering, which is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This expedition had 56 participants including some of China’s top universities. The team performed two joint Chinese-Singaporean scientific research missions at the Kermadec Trench and is currently working on a third mission at the Diamantina Trench.

Importance of the Recent Feat

A submersible has successfully navigated to the trench’s deepest point for the first time in human history. It not only opens up new possibilities for scientific research but also paves the way for the discovery of new resources in the deep sea. It will promote the scientific study of the trench system.

China’s Efforts in Deep Sea Resources

China has increased its attempts to seek deep marine resources to access historically untapped minerals. The submersible is outfitted with robotic arms for collecting biological samples and sonar “eyes” that use sound waves to locate surrounding objects. Engineers created a bulbous forehead-shaped protrusion that contains buoyant materials to assist in keeping it balanced. Fendouzhe can track various marine species and distribution patterns. When the organisms are brought to the surface, the abrupt shift in pressure, temperature, and chemical environment frequently cause physiological changes. As a result, a laboratory on the ocean floor enables a more accurate analysis of deep-sea species under harsh conditions.

In October 2022, Chinese researchers made a significant advancement toward long-term unmanned research in the deep sea when they successfully deployed a deep-sea in-situ scientific experiment station for testing in the South China Sea. Shenhai Yihao platform.

China’s Focus on the Ocean

In late May 2021, President Xi Jinping encouraged the Chinese scientific community to make strides in four vital frontiers, one of which is the ocean, in a speech to China’s top engineers and scientists. Since 2013, Xi has emphasized the importance of sea study when he delivered the famous phrase, “Care about the ocean, understand the ocean, and strategically manage the ocean.” Chinese scholars have frequently emphasized that China is one of the few countries with “full ocean depth capability,” which means it has the capability to conduct scientific research and resource exploration in the deep sea.

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