Author’s Blog

The Challenger Deep

December 11, 2012 | Category: The Trilogy, Uncategorized .

Hi Again. OK, that was a bit of a hiatus but I’ve been extremely busy setting up other aspects of this book selling business. Last time, I said I would share some of the more fascinating facts and information I have learned about the Challenger Deep and here they are:

It all begins and ends with subduction, the far reaching theory that explains continental drift and earthquakes and the Ring of Fire and all sorts of other captivating stuff. Now, as is usual if you push far enough into what is known, while our scientific understanding of the process of subduction is fairly detailed, we still don’t have a clue as to exactly how or why it started. Matter of fact, scientists from a hundred years ago thought the earth was solid throughout, whereas we now know that we actually live on a thin crust (the plates) that float on top of the viscous mantle (a fancy way of saying semi-molten rock) below…

So subduction, what is it? For starters, Earth is the only planet we know of that experiences subduction. As one continental plate drifts into another, the heavier (or denser) plate sinks beneath the lighter, creating friction and dragging the lip of the lighter plate down along with it for the ride. This creates a depression or trench and most of these are found in the Pacific Ocean, the deepest of which is—you guessed it—the Mariana Trench, with the lowest point being the Challenger Deep.

Because the Challenger Deep is so…well, deep—it represents the planet’s oldest (and most saturated) oceanic crust, dating all the way to the Jurassic Age (at its far end, approaching 200 million years ago, back when dinosaurs ruled the Earth). This area also displays the steepest angle of descent of any plate, at over 70 degrees. Interestingly, as the plate goes down, the water contained within it is released as (what is referred to as) a supercritical fluid, due to the enormous pressure.

This very hot water rises back up and in the process lowers the pressure—and hence the melting point—of the surrounding mantle rock to where it transforms into magma (a more liquefied state of rock) which, being lighter, floats up as well, in giant bubbles that can ultimately form volcanoes if they are big enough and go far enough. Some of the smaller ones however, crack as they approach the seabed and depending on how quickly the magma escapes, can sometimes leave behind massive undersea chambers that fill with seawater.

This phenomenon features prominently in the first book of the Trilogy, The Awakening, where such an undersea chamber is the location of a mysterious and ancient reactor found by Gidfel’s evil henchman, Rittmann. If you want to know a lot more on that particular subject, of course, you’ll have to read the book. However, I’m a big believer in ‘try before you buy’ and if you click on the first book icon on the website (http://winner-trilogy.com/the-trilogy/the-awakening/ ), you’ll see a ‘click here’ button that will enable you to read the first part of the book, entitled Traitor’s Warning. This is where Rittmann is introduced and we learn why he is so interested in–and terrified of–the Challenger Deep…

Coming up on the next blog, we move to an entirely different subject (but also related to the first part of The Awakening): Sumer, the most ancient civilization known to mankind and Eridu, the oldest city on Earth…

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