Laurentian fan

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The Laurentian fan or abyss is an underwater depression off the eastern coast of Canada in the Atlantic Ocean.[1] Not a trench, but more of an "underwater valley", it is estimated to be at most ~19,685 feet (3.7 miles; 6.0 km) in depth. The Laurentian fan is a product of glaciation and water currents from the Saint Lawrence River.[2] It is part of the Laurentian cone region, bound by the Laurentian Channel and the Sohm Abyssal Plain

The fan is the site of hydrothermal vents with their own sub ecosystems independent of sunlight.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The Laurentian Abyss was the covert rendezvous point for Soviet and American submarines in the 1990 technothriller film The Hunt for Red October. The location, however, was a departure from the original 1984 novel by Tom Clancy.
  • In the 2007 film Transformers, the bodies of Megatron, Blackout and Brawl are dropped into the abyss. It is falsely stated that the pressure and "sub-freezing" temperatures (presumably meaning below the freezing point of pure water at 1 atmosphere of pressure) at this depth would "crush and entomb" the evil alien robot. The film also erroneously states that the abyss is, at 7 miles (11.3 km) below sea level, and that it is the "deepest point on Earth;" the actual deepest point is Challenger Deep, a section of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, which has a depth of slightly less than seven miles. In the film's 2009 sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the remains are found by at the bottom of the Abyss and Megatron is reactivated. Decepticons are also seen climbing up a destroyed ship sinking into the Abyss waters. The film incorrectly states that the abyss is 9,300 fathoms deep, or about 55,800 feet (10.6 miles; 17.0 km) deep.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Geography of the Ocean and the Structure of Planet Water". The Ocean. 2007-05-21. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  2. ^ Information gathered via a phone interview with Dr. Norm Catto of Memorial University - August 15, 2008
  3. ^ Dover, C. L. V. (2000). The Ecology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents. USA: Princeton University Press. p. 352. ISBN 978-0-691-04929-8.