Pressure at the Deepest Point in the Oceans

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Standardized
Result
Namowitz, Spaulding. Earth Science. Massachusetts: Heath, 1994: 332. "… deepest place in any ocean is 11 km below sea level." 1.11 × 108 Pa
Science and Technology Desk Reference. 2nd ed. New York: Carnegie Library, 1996: 535. "… lowest point … measured as 36,198 ft (11,034 m) below sea level." 1.11 × 108 Pa
"By the Numbers." Popular Science. 24, 5 (May 95): 92. "Average pressure at … Mariana Trench, … [is] 18,000 lbs/in2." 1.24 × 108 Pa
Idyll, C.P. Exploring the Ocean World: A History of Oceanography. New York: Crowell, 1972: 36. "… a depth of 5,899 fathoms had been attained" 1.08 × 108 Pa
"Ocean." Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia. 7th ed. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989: 2047. "At the Mariana Trench … the pressure is on the order of 1070 atm." 1.09 × 108 Pa

Water pressure has always been a fairly important concept to divers and swimmers. The pressure that an underwater swimmer experiences depends on how far beneath the surface he is. The deeper he goes, the greater the pressure. We can use the equation:

equation

The highest point on land is the top of Mt. Everst, located in the Himalayas on Nepal-Tibel border. It is approximately 8,900 m above sea level. In comparison, the lowest point on the earth's surface is located in the western Pacific Ocean, in the Marianas Trench. There have been various measurements of the actual depth below sea level. The measurements I obtained from research varied from 35,797 ft (10,910 m) to 37,720 ft (11,500 m). Due to these variations, when the formula was used to obtain a value for the pressure at the deepest point of the oceans, they vary from 1.10 × 108 pascals to 1.15 × 108 pascals. In a periodical, the average pressure was given to be 1.24 × 108 Pa. From the sources obtained, it makes sense to state the pressure at the Marianas Trench to be about 1.1 × 108 Pa.

Susanna Tran -- 1998


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