Talk:Challenger Deep

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The deepest depth listed at the top of the Depth section is 10,923, which is inconsistent with 10,911 listed elsewhere, and 10,911 listed on the Mariana Trench page. I see that the depth is discussed below, but the different numbers for the bottom persist.

Also, according to the heading the Deep was named for a 1951 excursion, but in the body it is stated the "Challenger Deep" had a name in the 1912 encyclopedia. I'm guessing the heading is wrong and had the name earlier, but I don't know this.Daggerot 04:10, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

In the first paragraph in Section 1, it says that "[t]he maximum surveyed depth of the Challenger Deep is 10,911 m," but the last paragraph in the section gives a depth of 10,924 m.--Eric (talk) 07:52, 5 June 2009 (UTC)


Does this qualify under Category:Landforms or what's the alternative? Alren 18:25, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Not really. I didn’t see Africa on that list. This is a point in the bottom of a trench (the Mariana Trench). The aforementioned trench is there under oceanic trenches. That list is for things that peninsula, not Florida (e.g. mariana trench) and surely not Miami (e.g. Challenger Deep). Cavebear42 21:46, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Should a new category be started for "deeps?" I think they are just as important as the peaks of a mountain range such as Everest or Denali. Sowelilitokiemu 19:06, 8 January 2006 (UTC)


How could it be that the deep is "10,911 meters (35,797 feet) deep at its maximum", but "Trieste descended to 10,916 meters (35,813 feet) deep in the trench"? 10,916 is more than 10,911.

Yes I would also like to know Reply to David Latapie
Okay, let me try to get to the meat of this. there are 3 articels we should be looking at:
Bathyscaphe Trieste
"she reached a record depth of 35,813 feet"
Mariana Trench
"The trench has a maximum depth of 35,840 ft"
"[Trieste] indicated a depth of 37,800 ft, but this was later revised to 35,800 ft"
Challenger Deep
"the deepest known point in the oceans, 35,797 feet"
"Trieste descended to 35,813 feet deep in the trench"
I think that part of the problem is metric - feet convertions messing people up. Part of it is the dates of the measures. according to Guinness World Records "On January 23, 1960, the US Navy Trieste vessel descended to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, and on March 24, 1995, the Japanese probe Kaiko recorded a depth of 10,911 m (35,797 ft), the most accurate measurement yet taken.". Ironicly, accoring to this article from the navy, it was deeper than 37,000 feet. (the only article I could find on the navy site.) I was the one that put the data in from guinness and didn't mess with the other data from the sourses. I am open to whomever think that there is a clear way to present this. Cavebear42 23:07, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

== Helicopter landing and mountain growing ==::::Let's stay away from meters as that it has never been measured in them. The depth is known and has been measured a few times in differnt methods. weve sent people to the bottom, weve meatured with sonar. im inclined to use guinness as a source and trust its measure (which is well quoted ont he web). Still, we should clean these articles to make them match. Cavebear42 23:46, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I've modified this article alongwith Bathyscaphe Trieste with the depth measured by Kaiko. Other articles updated are Jacques Piccard, Don Walsh, and January 23. Jay 11:53, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Thought everyone might be interested to know that JAMSTEC'S own KAIKO page lists the depth it achieved at 10,911.4 meters (or 35,798.6 feet). The 35,840 ft number that was floating around comes from the CIA Factbook (take from it what you will). I agree with Sowelilitokiemu's comment below and also believe that a specific number can't be expected.

How much of the difference in measurements is accuracy and how much is actual change in depth? Nature abhors a vacuum, and I'm sure tons of sediment fall into the trench every year. If the subduction slows, I imagine that the Challenger Deep would fill in quite quickly. Sowelilitokiemu 19:01, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Still there´s the question wether Challenger Deep is the deepest known spot in the ocean, which is probably the Vityaz Deep 1 (Mariana Hollow) with - 11.022m. Would be nice to correct that.User:easternsun 0:53, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Soles and flounders[edit]

"They observed small soles and flounders..." I don't suppose this was actually at 10.900 m depth? That's what the article seems to say but I don't know if it is possible. Piet 13:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)


A lot of words that I don't understand, and without explanation. Leptohalysis and Reophax are two more. Maybe some of them can be left out and for others a stub/article can be created? Piet 13:28, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Clarification or edit in Fauna section[edit]

Over the course of six to nine million years, as the Challenger Deep grew to its present depth, many of the species present in the sediment died out or were unable to adapt to the increasing water pressure and changing environment. The remaining species may have been the ancestors of the Challenger Deep's current denizens.

The sentence in bold seems pretty obvious to me, or perhaps I am reading it incorrectly? The section is describing the unique abundance of soft-shelled organisms in the Challenger Deep compared to other deep-sea survey sites. The last few sentences provide a possible explanation stating basically that the reason is because the current species present adapted to the change. How is this different than evolution in any other corner of the world? That is the premise of evolution, no? The species that adapt to change and survive are able to propagate their lines. The last sentence seems the most (my apologies) "duuh" of all. The current living organisms came from their ancestors... Would anyone think any differently? I mean even to people who believe in "intelligent design" :P

But perhaps I'm missing something obvious, and this section is stating something different? --Acefox 19:50, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

The above sentence also mentions that CHallenger Deep grew to it's present depth over six to nine million years. This is a very short period geologically and it would be a great addition to the article to explain briefly how this happened e.g. are there specific currents that caused erosion of the sea bed, or is it plate tectonics and if so what type of plate movements cause the trench to become deeper?

I disagree that the sentence makes sense as it is. Let's break it down. "The remaining species may have been the ancestors of the Challenger Deep's current denizens." The remaining species (the species currently in the Deep) may have been the ancestors of the Challenger Deep's current denizens (which is insane, because the species currently in the Deep cannot be their own ancestors). I think the author meant for "remaining" to apply to those species that did not die out; (this part of the previous sentence: "...many of the species present in the sediment died out..." and those that did not die out were "remaining.") But that makes "remaining" the modifier of a section of an entirely different sentence, rather than the noun currently following it. It should be changed for clarity sake. 23:47, 21 February 2007 (UTC)~ryanpm


Just a quibble. It says that the cables snapped during a typhoon on March 29, 2003, but there wasn't a typhoon then. There was a tropical storm in January, and a supertyphoon in early April, but nothing in March. Are you sure that date is right? Hurricanehink (talk) 02:13, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

HMS Challenger[edit]

It seemed odd that there wasn't much info on HMS Challenger, which first surveyed the Challenger Deep. So I've added some info. 12:15, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

==the name "Challenger Deep" The first section (which does not appear to be editable) states that "the point is named after the ... survey ship HMS Challenger, which first surveyed the trench in 1951."

This is contradicted by the next sentences which state that the 1910 Murray book calls the location surveyed by the H.M.S. Challenger in 1875 the Challenger Deep. This fact is true, based on the citation of the page on which the statement occurs.

Therefore, the (uneditable) lead to the discussion should read: "The point is named after the British steam corvette HMS Challenger, which discovered the deep in 1875. The first survey of the Marianas Trench which includes the Challenger Deep at its southern extremity, was fittingly made by Challenger's namesake, the British Royal Navy survey ship,HMS Challenger. ---- —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hmschallenger (talkcontribs) 18:29, 10 April 2007 (UTC).

How was 1875 sounding made?[edit]

It says the first sounding of the Challenger Deep was made in 1875. How? Did they carry over 5 miles (8km) of rope? If it was really a weight on the end of a 5 mile rope, how did they know when the end reached the bottom? RedTomato (talk) 19:17, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Purely speculation, but if you can get to a point where you realize that you're making slack in the rope, and then remove the slack until the line is taut again, the length of rope below the water should be the distance to the bottom. MMetro (talk) 04:27, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

The picture is inaccurate[edit]

The disputed image

The picture comparing the depth of the Challenger Deep and Mount Everest is inaccurate. The scale on the right of the image shows the depth of the Challenger deep to be 12,00 feet when it is in fact 10,924 meters at the maximum measured depth. The picture should either be updated (with better graphics if possible) or removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Barhamd (talkcontribs) 06:09, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Also - this picture is totally misleading and factually wrong. The scales are COMPLETELY different. The picture shows the Everest massif - which is only 3500 meters tall, as being over 8000 meters tall! This picture should be removed, or the height of the tibetan plateau added to the diagram to again make it accurate. Bassclef (talk) 09:21, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Number of descents?[edit]

If only 3 descents have been achieved (1960, 1995 and 2009), how can Nereus be the first vehicle to reach it "since 1998"? --Markmcrobie (talk) 08:57, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't know. Please ask the BBC. :) --candlewicke 13:50, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Note that it says: "Nereus thus became the first vehicle to reach the Mariana Trench since 1998" and not that it was the first to reach Challenger Deep. Thus it can be assumed that there was an expedition to the Mariana Trench in 1998 (the last to reach it until now) which didn't go to the Deep - Dumelow (talk) 21:15, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Which expedition?[edit]

Murray was one of the expedition scientists, a young man at the time

This part refers to an expedition that isn't named that I could see. I couldn't immediately find it in the reference, although I imagine if I had the time to scout backwards a while it should be there somewhere. -- (talk) 14:48, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Merge to Mariana Trench?[edit]

I find it quite strange that this article isn't just a part of Mariana Trench, especially considering that the summit of Everest doesn't have it's own page. What about Challenger Deep merits a separate article that no "highest point" does? I assume it's because "highest" point is slightly more subjective (Chimborazo and whatnot), while this is unequivocally the lowest point (closest to the Earth's core), but still, I question the separate article status. (talk) 20:59, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Mount Everest is a particularly high spot on the Himalaya range, and is thus given its own name like other high spots (we call them mountain peaks), and this is usually defined by the highest it gets. How do you decide to give something a name of its own? Do mountains exist objectively, or do you create them in your imagination as separate objects, due to hosting local points of interest? The more proper metaphor I think is that these deeps are like peaks, inverted, in a mountain chain, which is the trench. There are actually several deeps within the Mariana Trench (which is like an inverted mountain range), all of which are considerably deeper than the average trench floor depth, and the Challenger deep is merely the deepest, and thus the only one that has its own Wiki article. But there are many named "Deeps," within named trenches, in several oceans. SBHarris 00:00, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Unnecessary repetition in the introduction[edit]

"Thus, the Challenger Deep is a relatively small slot-shaped depression in the bottom of a considerably larger crescent-shaped trench, which itself is an unusually deep feature in the ocean floor."

Is this sentence really necessary. Its basically just paraphrasing what was JUST said, only cutting out the relevant details. While I would argue that it is good to make information clear to anyone with a pulse, I think the above sentences are hardly technical, and anyone who cares to make the effort can figure it out in about 10 seconds without the aid of the quoted bit. --Pstanton (talk) 00:41, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Comparative picture[edit]

A picture comparing the depth of the Challenger Deep with more graspable objects would be useful and add much value to the article. is good but of unknown copyright status. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:24, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Geographic proximity[edit]

Is it just me, or is it a bit strange that the intro paragraph says Challenger Deep is near the Mariana Islands, but then the closest island listed (Yap) is really part of FS Micronesia? Add to this that it's on the other side of Guam from the Northern Mariana Islands; and while Guam is part of the Mariana archipelago, it's not part of the group which name includes "Mariana". Maybe the location instead of referencing the "Mariana Islands" should say that it's at the southern end of the Mariana Trench, southwest of Guam? --Hooperswim (talk) 02:51, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Proposed Future Dives[edit]

Hollywood film director James Cameron is preparing to dive to the bottom of Challenger Deep, it was revealed Sunday September 12, 2010. An Australian Company has been commissioned to build a deep sea submersible which can reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench. By latest news reports the company has been working on the project for sometime and expect completion by the end of 2010. Actual filming in the trench for the movie with a tentative release date of 2014 should start early next year. [1] [2]Shieldwolf (talk) 12:46, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Removed possible nuclear waste disposal site section[edit]

Moving this from the main page, as it has many problem, least of all the sourcing. Viriditas (talk) 11:23, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Like other oceanic trenches, the Challenger Deep has been proposed as being a site for nuclear waste disposal.[3] Being a fast-moving subduction plate, the place has been considered numerous times, as the nuclear waste would theoretically be pushed into the Earth's mantle.

What do you think of the new source? Fell Gleamingtalk 11:39, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
The material was moved to the talk page for discussion, not for you to revert it back in and then discuss. I am going to be removing the material again until we have consensus here on the talk page for adding it back in. The source you added is not a RS for science articles. You are welcome to use the discussion page to talk about it. Viriditas (talk) 11:41, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but this is contrary to WP Policy. When a significant change such as yours is reverted, the proper behaviour is not to again remove it, but to first seek consensus for the controversial change. Furthermore, the Helium source is not being used as a WP:RS for a science claim, but merely to support that the location has been suggested as a waste repository. The subduction claim is science, and that still needs to be supported. Finally, your removal claims that the text has 'many problems', but you cite only one. I ask that you self-revert your change and first attempt to seek consensus. Fell Gleamingtalk 11:47, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
No, I'm sorry, as I'm afraid you gravely misunderstand Wikipedia policy and how Wikipedia articles are written. Per WP:V, "Any material challenged or likely to be challenged, and all quotations, must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation....Anything that requires but lacks a source may be removed..." You should right now, be hunting for reliable sources, not edit warring over poorly sourced and inaccurate material. Please use the talk page to discuss how we can best rewrite this material with good sources. What you are not supposed to do is keep adding the disputed material back into the article with bad sources. Please take a moment to think about this. Viriditas (talk) 11:55, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Edit: Here is another source that supports the location was considered as a potential dumping site: [1]. And here is another source that validates the subduction zone claim: [2]. Fell Gleamingtalk 11:52, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Are either of those sources reliable? Science articles generally require books, scholarly articles, and high quality news sources that are reviewed by editors. Please slow down and do a little bit of research. I am trying to help, but I keep getting distracted by the reverts and the accusations. Viriditas (talk) 11:54, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I just looked at both of the sources you provided. Neither meet the requirements for WP:RS. Please take a minute and slow down. Understand that we will get this information back in the article with good sources. There is no hurry. Now, I would recommend starting with Google books and scholar, as that is the easiest place to find good sources. If you don't want to do that, then please take a break and let me do it. Viriditas (talk) 11:57, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Fell, I just looked at the page history and saw this edit you made.[3] Your edit summary says you removed the material because it was "not in source." However, putting aside the quality of the material or the source for the moment, the information you removed was referred to by the source, however indirectly: "The discovery of living organisms at such a depth was to prove an important argument against dumping nuclear waste in ocean trenches." The source is talking about Challenger Deep, and the argument against dumping nuclear waste in ocean trenches refers to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. I agree that the source is not very good and the material was poorly written, but it is accurate. Now, why would you remove this poorly sourced material, but keep poorly sourced material proposing the site for nuclear waste disposal, when you know that it is already banned? Could you explain this? Viriditas (talk) 12:16, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Fell, here is a good source that supports both claims:

In general, Pu in glass or ceramic logs can be placed into a geological could be deposited in very deep ocean trenches, such as the Challenger Deep. The Challenger Deep is 11-km deep and slowly subducts into the Earth. This is technically sound but it violates the treaty that bans ocean dumping.[4]

Please note that the source describes the plate as slow, not fast, and makes it clear that the dumping is banned. Viriditas (talk) 12:25, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

(ec) : The claim I removed was not 'poorly' sourced, it's not sourced at all. The Guardian article merely says the dive was an "important argument against" dumping. It says nothing about international law, or who may or may not have ratified it. I don't dispute the claim itself, but I merely haven't had time to locate an alternate source. As for the World Nuclear Association source, it is as reliable a source as any international organization, and has been used as one for numerous other articles. Fell Gleamingtalk 12:30, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Fell, I just explained how it was sourced above. The "important argument against dumping nuclear waste" helped provide a basis for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This is not in dispute by anyone. I'm sorry if this is confusing for you. In any case, we now have a good source. Here is the template:

{{cite book |last=Hafemeister |first=David W. |date=2007 |title=Physics of Societal Issues: Calculations on National Security, Environment, and Energy |publisher=Springer |page=187 |isbn=0387955607}}

Based on that source, I think it is acceptable to link to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Viriditas (talk) 12:37, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Viriditas, I'm sorry but you're still confused. If an article claims "an international treaty bans nuclear dumping, it is unacceptable to support that with a newspaper article that simply says a dive was an "important argument" against dumping. The one in no way supports the other. The claim itself may be true, but as it stood it was uncited, and needed to be addressed. Do you understand now? Fell Gleamingtalk 12:50, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

addendum. Your source is good. Here's another, that specifically identifies the treaty, and also point out that the US and Russia (the two nations most involved) are not bound by it. [5] Fell Gleamingtalk 12:34, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
You'll need to find a better source. The website for the "Law of the Sea Institute" isn't a great fit. You seem to enjoy adding and removing claims you personally agree or disagree with, and relying on self-published websites to support your views, rather than letting good sources speak for themselves. Try to write from the POV of the topic, rather than your own beliefs on the subject. Unless you have a source saying that the U.S. and Russia aren't bound to the treaty in relation the subject of dumping nuclear waste in the Challenger Deep, you are pushing a POV that is above and beyond the sources in use. Please remember, when we use a source, we don't dress it up with coats or synthesize it with material beyond the subject matter. Unless there is a reason to specify that a certain nation isn't bound to a certain treaty, we don't say that. Of course, if a source says that in direct relation to this topic, by all means, add it. Stick only to the sources about the topic, and the material they contain, nothing more, nothing less. Viriditas (talk) 12:42, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Why don't you follow policy and WP:AGF? Further, I can't understand what possible objection you would have to a Berkeley University Law website, for a source on international law. The article in question is specifically about international law where it relates to nuclear dumping. Can you explain your reasoning here? Still further, I'm as unclear on what "POV" you believe me to be pushing. It rather seems like your arguments are degenerating into an WP:IDONTLIKEIT appeal against the topic itself. 12:47, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Fell, I get the sense that you aren't reading my replies. Does the self-published Law of the Sea Institute website mention the topic of "Challenger Deep"? Yes or no, please. Viriditas (talk) 12:54, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Viriditas, you're rather badly misunderstanding Wikipedia policy on synthesis. As example, if an article claims "this book was written by John Smith, who died in 1981", and you cite a newspaper obituary to verify the 1981 portion of the claim, that source in no way, shape, or form has to specifically mention the subject of the article. If you doubt this, I suggest you post for clarification to Wikipedia's original research noticeboard, where a number of editors will be happy to set you straight. Using multiple independent sources is the very heart of what an editor should be doing. Synthesis only comes when you combine those disparate sources to reach a conclusion not supported by any of them.

In the meantime, we have a number of sources that verify the original text. If you want to suggest an alternate rewording before its reinserted, please do so now. Fell Gleamingtalk 13:01, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Fell, I haven't misunderstood a thing, and as you have been repeatedly reminded, you cannot use sources that have nothing to do with the topic. This topic is about the Challenger Deep. The source you want to use, a self-published Law of the Sea Institute website, says nothing about Challenger Deep. Please don't continue to misuse sources in a way that promotes your personal POV. That is OR and synthesis, and you are advancing a POV that is not connected to the topic. I'm sorry you are having great difficulty understanding this fact, but that is the way it is, and that is the way Wikipedia works. You are certainly welcome to closely parphrase the Hafemeister material, but you are not allowed to use sources outside this topic to push your POV. If this isn't making sense to you, feel free to ask someone on one of the noticeboards, such as the RS or NOR noticeboard, for guidance and help. Viriditas (talk) 13:06, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
This battleground mentality of yours has to stop. A Berkeley Law site is an excellent source for international law. It specifically mentions treaty obligations vis a vis nuclear dumping at sea. The objection that, since it doesn't name this specific location on the world's seas is, frankly, ludicrous. Challenger Deep is a portion of the world's oceans; it is covered quite clearly. If you don't suggest an alternate rewording, I'll simply reinsert the original text, sourced via the new citations. Fell Gleamingtalk 13:15, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Fell, if you keep disrupting this talk page, you could be blocked for your bad behavior. We write articles from sources about the topic. We don't take disparate sources from here and there that have nothing to do with the topic and combine them with other sources that do, and we certainly don't do it to push a POV or to make a point like you are doing. You're engaging in OR, synthesis, and just plain bad editing. Now, listen carefully: You've got the Hafemeister material. It discusses this topic, in addition to the nuclear issue, and the ban. That's it. Understand? If you don't understand, then you will need to find someone else to explain it to you, because I have already done so several times. Now stop disrupting this article with your tendentious edits. We only use sources about the topic. End of discussion. If you don't like it, then you'll have to change the policies and guidelines. Good luck. Viriditas (talk) 13:22, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

The alternate rewording has been inserted, along with an additional citation on plate subduction. Fell Gleamingtalk 22:43, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

The disputed wording and source has been removed pending the outcome of this discussion and the noticeboard report. I'm a bit confused why you added unformatted references to the article after I formatted them for you above. Please try to help improve this article. Viriditas (talk) 01:43, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
For the record, please state clearly your objection to the text. Do you or do not you not believe the US has not ratified UNCLOSIII? Wikipedia even has an entire article on the US's failure to ratify. Are you seriously claiming there's a verification issue with this point? Here's another newspaper article on the subject: [6]. And another article, this time from the NY Times: [7]. Here's an entire website setup on the issue: [8]. You're far into the Twilight Zone on this point. I suggest you step back and rethink your position carefully. Fell Gleamingtalk 01:55, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
In addition to not understanding how we use sources, you appear to not understand the editorial burden of truth. You need to show that sources about the Challenger Deep discuss this subject, and you need to explain why it is important to claim that the U.S. has not ratified the international treaty in this article. The U.S. overwhelmingly supports ratification and honors the treaty. Why are you adding this to the article when the relevant point in the relevant sources on this topic only concerns itself with the fact that using the Challenger Deep as a dumping ground "violates the treaty that bans ocean dumping"? That's the only thing that needs to be said. What good reason do you have to add non-Challenger Deep sources that talk about the ratification? This article is not about the ratification of the international treaty. Is this making sense to you? Now, you and I both know why you keep adding it. You keep adding it because this is the number one conservative talking point straight from the office of Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and conservative, right-wing think tanks who as a very vocal minority, oppose the treaty (contrary to the strong support for ratification by the majority of the U.S. government since 1982) because they feel it will threaten the sovereignty of U.S. coastal waters and open the U.S. up to international climate change restrictions and lawsuits. Of course, none of that has anything to do with this article, but you keep adding it as a POV commentary on the treaty, a minority, albeit fringe commentary that has no place in this article at all. Your contribution history shows that you keep doing this on article after article. You're going to need to stop what you are doing, and hunker down and learn how we use sources. Unless the source is about the Challenger Deep, it isn't relevant. And your attempt to use this article to push a fringe POV that is at odds with the overwhelming support by the U.S. government, the Navy, and every ocean organization, is hereby noted. Viriditas (talk) 02:09, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
"You need to show that sources about the Challenger Deep discuss this subject" I'm sorry, but this couldn't be more wrong. WP:V requires the material in question be verified by a source. It doesn't require that every source also specifically mention the article subject. It merely has to verify the statement in question. This is really rather basic. Fell Gleamingtalk 02:23, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
WP:V says that the source "must clearly support the material as presented in the article." Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources is explicitly clear on how we use sources: "Sources should directly support the information as it is presented in an article, and should be appropriate to the claims made." WP:SYN is also clear: "Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources." You have not provided a source that says that the U.S. supports dumping nuclear waste in the Challenger Deep against the international treaty that they in fact, support and honor. This is what your edit implies, among other things. This article is not about who supports the international ban on ocean dumping. If it was, I could cite source after source, showing the vast majority of the U.S. population, government, military, ocean organizations, and businesses support the ban. I could also show that ratification has been held up by the efforts of several Republican Senators like Jim Inhofe, while numerous Presidents and administrations since 1982 have supported it. But, that's not the topic of this article. Capische? You need to stick to what the sources say about the topic, and you need to stop POV pushing. This article is about Challenger Deep. If you can't agree to use appropriate sources about the nuclear disposal proposal, then the section shouldn't even be here. You're already giving it undue weight with your focus on this topic. Find more sources that support your position. Viriditas (talk) 02:42, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "You have not provided a source that says that the U.S. supports dumping nuclear waste in the Challenger Deep" For the simple reason that the text doesn't state that. It's not true. Are you even reading edits before you revert them. The text you removed was "As of September 2010, the US has not ratified this treaty". How you got from that to "the US supports dumping", I have no idea. It's not stated. It's not even implied. I note from your referring to "Republican Senators" that you appear to be politicizing what is in fact a very simple statement. The reader can draw their own conclusions from the facts. The facts themselves are verified, and by reliable sources. Fell Gleamingtalk 02:46, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Why did you add "as of September 2010, the US has not ratified this treaty"? How is whether the U.S. has ratified this treaty or not relevant to this article? We already know that the U.S. supports and honors it. Could you explain why you keep introducing political commentary into this article where none appears in the original source about the Challenger Deep? Please answer this question. That's not how we write articles or how we use sources. Viriditas (talk) 02:58, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
That is not synthasis, the source does say the US has not ratfified it. As to why its relevant, why is it not?Slatersteven (talk) 12:40, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
It is synthesis, and the source, Hafemeister (2007) supporting the central thesis, says nothing about ratification.[9] The burden for relevancy rests on the editor adding content, not removing it. We don't ask, "why is it not", we ask why it is. Having been active since 2007, you should know this, Steven. WP:BURDEN, etc. Viriditas (talk) 12:45, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
You have a highly flawed interpretation of synthesis. The US has not ratified the treaty, period. You may not like that fact, but its a fact, and a well-verified one. Your "central source" is a book by a physics professor, who is not an authoritative source on international law. (Even worse is the fact there is no conflict between the two source, except in your head) Fell Gleamingtalk 12:54, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Fell, you're a bit confused. The "source" is yours, and I found it for you because you were unable to determine what a reliable source is, remember? You are welcome to find another one, if you can. Criticizing me for helping you is a bit odd. Whether or not the U.S. has ratified a treaty, has nothing to do with this topic. The only reason you keep introducing it here and in other articles, is because it is a political talking point that has several implicit assumptions (as detailed on the NOR noticeboard by myself and another editor) that are not connected with this topic. In other words, you are POV pushing, again. Please stick to the topic of this article, and only use sources that discuss this topic. We already have an article on the topic of the United States non-ratification of the UNCLOS. This, however, is not it. Viriditas (talk) 13:15, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Sources for non-ratification Actually says non participation, but does show that the US does not accept the treaty obligations.
There may well be others (in fact there are).Slatersteven (talk) 13:05, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
You're still a little bit confused, Steven. What does those sources have to do with this topic? We already have an article on United States non-ratification of the UNCLOS. However, this isn't it. Viriditas (talk) 13:13, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Well the US has said that dumping i nt eh deep is a really good idea (we have sources for that, that a un treaty wants to make it illegal (we have sources for that), and that the US refuese to ratfiy the treaty becasue of the very clause (though they have not stated (and neitehr do we) that the reason is nuclear dumping) that would make the dumpijng illegal. I would say that makes it relevant to the section. Now if the section as a wholes is removed that might be a different matter. But to imply that dumoping of nuclear waste in the trench has been banned 9and that ban acepted) by all countries is also OR.Slatersteven (talk) 13:47, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Multiple people have explained it to you many time, Viriditas. What's ironic is your sole objection to the statement comes from your fear that someone who knows the facts will suddenly think, "hey, nuclear dumping is a good idea!" when the reality is they'll actually respond, "hey, the US should ratify the treaty!". In any case, that's irrelevant. Our job as editors is to present the facts to the reader in a neutral, unbiased manner, not whitewash out facts we personally find objectionable. Fell Gleamingtalk 13:40, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

On the contrary, FellGleaming, you've ignored the explanations from multiple editors, both here and on the OR noticeboard. Until you show that you understand how we use sources, you will not be able to add your content. You have not done the most basic research on this topic, nor have you found reliable sources that show it is a significant aspect of the subject and proportionally represented in the sources. Viriditas (talk) 00:00, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

"Navel of the World"[edit]

The significance of noting US non-ratification is, of course, the fact that the US generates more nuclear waste than any other nation in the world. Fell Gleamingtalk 14:57, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

That is completely irrelevant so long as they are not planning to dump it into Challenger Deep. If you have a reliable source that the US is planning to do that, please provide it. But I doubt it, since apparently it's only a small minority of politicians that is blocking ratification of the treaty. Hans Adler 15:04, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
That's a rather unusual interpretation. In a section on nuclear waste dumping, the fact that the largest source of that waste isn't legally barred from dumping is most certainly relevant, whether or not they have any active plans to do so at this time. Fell Gleamingtalk 15:07, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Since there is a treaty against this dumping and nobody has ever done it, the section is only barely noteworthy anyway. I am getting the impression that you may be trying to abuse this article of an international encyclopedia, about an international topic, for advocacy related to American interior politics. Hans Adler 15:12, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
And I'm getting the impression you're so emotionally horrified by the mere thought dumping that you're trying to censor notable and well-sourced material because you just don't like it. The fact that this trench has been proposed many times as a waste dump is certainly an interesting and notable fact. The fact that it is barred by international treaty is also interesting. And the fact that the US -- the largest producer of nuclear waste -- has continually refused to ratify that treaty is also both interesting, relevant, and well sourced. Fell Gleamingtalk 15:16, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Can you please provide a reliable source for the claim that "the US" as opposed to a few politicians inside the US, have "refused" to ratify the treaty? Thank you. Hans Adler 15:31, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Anyway, I think I have found a simple way out: Let's just say the following:

however a small number of UN members (e.g. X, Y, Z) have not signed or not ratified the treaty.

Where X, Y, Z are the most populous UN members that have not signed or not ratified, in descending order of population size. I am sure that will include the US. Hans Adler 15:31, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

I think that's more than fair. Anyone else object? Fell Gleamingtalk 15:33, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

I do. Please note that FellGleaming's Berkeley source states that the major legal constraint here is not the Law of the Sea Treaty, but the London Convention, which the US has ratified, and which, by 1993 amendment bans the dumping of nuclear waste. See [this post for further details.--Slp1 (talk) 16:29, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

The United States is not party to the London Convention. See here [10] for a list of all signatory states. The United States Law MPRSA prohibits dumping of nuclear wastes -- but only in US Territorial Waters. Fell Gleamingtalk 16:46, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I guess you missed the United States on page 3 of the appendix. Slp1 (talk) 17:18, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Read the entire source. It is the later Protocol that bans all dumping, and there are only 38 signatories to that portion: [11] Fell Gleamingtalk 17:32, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry you are just plum wrong. It is disturbing to see you make these kinds of claims. See [12] It is the 1993 amendment that bans the dumping of radioactive waste. The 1996 Protocol mentions nothing about radioactivity, nuclear waste etc at all. --Slp1 (talk) 18:06, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't see that link stating that all nuclear dumping was banned in 1993. Can you highlight the text you're looking at? Fell Gleamingtalk 18:15, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Howabout "A decade later in 1993, the delegates to the sixteenth meeting of the LDC made the ban on the dumping of nuclear material at sea formal, permanent, and binding" from the Berkeley article you yourself proposed.. Or "In November of that year the London Convention added an amendment prohibiting the dumping of nuclear waste at sea," or The United States and 36 other nations voted Friday to permanently bar the dumping of nuclear waste at sea. Why ask question when it was already at your figure tips and so easy to find? Slp1 (talk) 18:28, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
By your last source, it says the US voted for the ban -- but the Britain, France, Russia, and China all abstained. So you feel that's the text which should go into the article? Fell Gleamingtalk 18:34, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, we could, if it wasn't synthesis to do so. And if it wasn't out of date too, since, according to the IMO, with Russia accepting the amendment the "prohibition of the disposal of radioactive wastes at sea is finally in force for all Contracting Parties to the London Convention"- this includes all of the countries you mentioned, so I guess they had a change of heart.
It's fine and accurate to say that nuclear dumping is banned by international law, as Viridatis had it. The fact that the very source you propose states that the deep sea dumping "is forbidden by international law", that with the 1993 amendment of the London Convention "the ban on the dumping of nuclear material at sea formal, permanent, and binding", and that the UNLOSIII treaty is only weakly related to the issue ("has some provisions that can be interpreted as applying to subseabed disposal") suggests that mention in this article of the US's failure (to date) to ratify this second treaty is inappropriate per WP:UNDUE, WP:SYNTH and likely WP:NPOV. --Slp1 (talk) 19:03, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Also it does not say they have ratified it, it says they have either ratified it or agreed to its implimentation (but without ratificatio it would not apply to the USA). The source does not specifiy which if these it is.Slatersteven (talk) 17:43, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Give it up. They ratified the London Convention.--Slp1 (talk) 18:06, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't see that source either stating that the original 1972 London Convention banned all dumping of nuclear waste. Fell Gleamingtalk 18:17, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

It appears that FellGleaming is right about this point as far as low-level radioactive waste is concerned. The US ratified the London Dumping Convention of 1972 but, as of the writing of the Berkeley document had not ratified either the 1993 amendment that also banned low-level radioactive waste, or the 1996 revised convention which bans the dumping of all radioactive waste implicitly by giving a positive list of what may be dumped. It clearly says so in the Berkeley document. From the IMO website one can download a spreadsheet showing country/ratification status for many conventions. It was last updated a few days ago. It confirms that the US still hasn't ratified the 1996 revised convention. (Theoretically the US could still have ratified the 1993 amendment since 2004, but that seems unlikely.)

Of course, if we really want to keep this section about dumping in the article, then we need to make sure that it is NPOV. I find it hard to believe that "technically feasible" is an adequate description for dumping radioactive waste into a depth of 11 km, i.e. a pressure of more than 1000 atmospheres. Whatever container you use is bound to burst rather soon (certainly long before the topic subduction even becomes relevant, so that should probably be removed as a red herring), and surely this obvious fact is reflected in the technical literature. (Maybe I am even wrong, but then surely the experts will have discussed why.) I confess that by now I trust FellGleaming to be unusually well informed about this topic (and about some things surrounding global warming), but that I do not trust the user to tell us the full truth about such things. Hans Adler 21:24, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

You vitrify the material first. There is no container to burst...and even were it in a container that did burst, where would it go? The waste is typically far denser than steel; saying it sinks like a stone is an understatement. And I appreciate the (mostly) kind words. By the way, if you are interested in the topic, you might be curious to find out that the entire history of nuclear waste dumping (including Russia's gargantuan degree of dumping HLW and decommissioned reactor cores, often into shallow coastal waters with no protective steps whatsoever), only increased the radioactive background of the world's ocean by 1/3000 of the amount that atmospheric testing did during the 1950s-60s -- and 1/3,000,000 of the normal background radiation level already within the ocean. Furthermore, continued dumping at those levels would not have appreciably raised levels much further, as the increase was due primarily to short-life daughter nuclides such as Cs-137, I-131, etc, which decay much faster than the uranium, thorium, and radium found naturally in sea water. During discussions of the dumping ban, even the IMO itself admitted the ban was about "social and political" reasons, rather than for scientifically justified reasons. A discussion at this level is, of course, far beyond this particular article's aegis. But the fact remains that dumping the material into a subduction zone isn't really necessary at all Fell Gleamingtalk 21:42, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Hi Hans. I'm afraid that FellGleaming is not as well informed as you might think.

OK, good points by both of you, so apparently things are a bit more complicated:

  • To judge from the ratification state of various conventions, the US (having ratified only the original London Convention) is theoretically still free to dump low-level radioactive waste but not high-level radioactive waste. – If that is not true I am sure FellGleaming is going to tell us why not.
  • According to an OECD report from 1999, Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste:

    Several "exotic disposal routes", such as disposal into space, suboceanic subduction zones or polar ice, were already fairly extensively studied in the seventies and are no longer the subject of serious consideration, at least in the community.

I can see how this situation might have changed, and why, but this passage does give reason for caution. Hans Adler 22:28, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Point #1 is correct; the US cannot dump HLW. Point #3 is a bit misleading, as the reason alternative methods are no longer discussed is the recognition that additional means are not necessary. In the US, for example, even the lack of a permanent facility like Yucca Mt. hasn't been a real problem. All the HLW in the US would only cover one single football field to a depth of a few yard. Some of the early nuclear plants have a full half-century of waste stored on site, and can continue to use such "temporary" means for at least another century. Furthermore, some of the new GenIV reactor designs on the books generate only a tiny fraction of the waste that current plants do. Many of those new designs can actually burn the waste of these older plants, turning this "liability" into free energy. Fell Gleamingtalk 22:46, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm only dealing with the London Convention thing, but it seems that there is still confusion here. The London Convention was changed, by the amendment, in 1993 to cover all waste, Hi and Low. All of it. That's what an amendment does; it changes the original convention, law, motion whatever. Since the US is a party to the convention and accepted the amendment the country is forbidden, like all other countries from dumping waste, high or low. It does not need ratifying, and that's why there is no column for the amendment ratification in the convention status spreadsheet on IMO website. I don't know how many references I need to give you to show that this is the case. that "prohibition of the disposal of radioactive wastes at sea is finally in force for all Contracting Parties to the London Convention" (IMO 2005); "In November 1993, the 16th Consultative Meeting adopted amendments to Annex I prohibiting the disposal of all radioactive wastes at sea". (Principles of international environmental law 2002); Marine issues from a scientific, political and legal perspective 2002 note 49); "The two leaders (of US and Norway) called on Russia to accept the 1993 amendment to the London Convention that establishes a mandatory moratorium on all dumping of radioactive waste at sea"; 1999 Joint US/Norway Press White Statement. That's my last. I've produced multiple high quality sources to support what I've learned, and for whatever reason this continues to be disputed without a single source being produced to back up the contradictory claims. Perhaps it's moot, though. It certainly is a highly irrelevant discussion for this page.--Slp1 (talk) 13:34, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "That's what an amendment does; it changes the original convention, law, motion whatever. Since the US is a party to the convention and accepted the amendment the country is forbidden, like all other countries from dumping waste, high or low. It does not need ratifying"" I'm sorry, but this is demonstrably incorrect. An amended treaty needs to be ratified to be binding. Even Wikipedia's own article on treaties verifies this. Allow me to quote:

US Constitutional Law requires congressional approval for all treaty obligations. Congress cannot approve a treaty, then have it amended to different obligations without voting to approve those new obligations.

EDIT: However, in the spirit of compromise, may I suggest the following text, along the lines of "while technically feasible, international law currently forbids most nations from such dumping". That also removes the focus on the US, which at least one editor has complained about. Fell Gleamingtalk 13:50, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

As I have stated reliable sources are what is needed here.
The argument is that it is not binding on the USA as it has not been ratfied by the legilature and thus is not recognised in US law. The US executive may have signed it, but u8ntill the US legilature ratifies it the USA is not bound by it.Slatersteven (talk) 14:47, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
That's assuming that this amendment needs to be ratified, as not all amendments do. Nobody has provided a shred of evidence that this one needs to be ratified, and lots has been presented, including the fact that there is no mention of it needing to be ratified on the convention status spreadsheet on IMO website, to show that it doesn't. Find some real concrete evidence to the contrary about this amendment please. --Slp1 (talk) 14:54, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
[[13]] It has not been ratified.Slatersteven (talk) 14:56, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
You are confusing UNCLOSIII with the London Convention. There is no question that the US hasn't ratified the former, but it has most certainly ratified the later. --Slp1 (talk) 13:10, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Slp, I'm a little surprised by your position, given you yourself have listed several sources that specifically note both the London Convention and Protocol, and UNCLOSIII are not ratified by every nation in the world. Are you actually trying to hide this fact?
As for the point about re-ratification being required, if you won't accept Wikipedia or the US Constitution, how about the book Modern Treaty Law and Practice? [14]. Look to page 266-267. Or this book documenting the US requirement to re-ratify the amended US Indian treaties: [15]. Or this British Parliament position paper from last year, showing that the Lisbon Treaty will need to be re-ratified if amended: [16]. Or this nearly 100-year old NYTimes article which clearly identifies the constitional issues surrounding ratification of an amended treaty: [17]. How many more examples do you need?
Finally, I think your confusion results from failing to understand one crucial point about the amendment process for international treaties. The usual process (and the process followed by the London Convention) is that an amendment is proposed. If it is acceptable by some supermajority of members (the LC requires a 2/3 majority), then the amendment is passed and comes into force for those members which accepted it. There are many amended treaties who have multiple binding sets of provisions. Note that, for states which constitutionally require ratification, "acceptance" implies a certificate of ratification, unless the amemdment concerns purely technical implementation details that do not bind parties to new obligations. Fell Gleamingtalk 15:04, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
  • It's obvious that there is no point continuing with this discussion. You've provided no direct evidence, except general research about treaty ratification requirements, to contradict the mass of reliably sourced evidence that international law prohibits the ocean dumping of radioactive waste. In contrast, I have shown given you links to the specifics of how the London Convention can be amended and who is bound to those amendments. Let me add one more from theJournal of Marine Systems vol 14 1998. pp.377–396: "Amendments to the LC or its annexes must be approved by two-thirds of the contracting parties present at meetings (Curtis, 1993). A state-party which does not vote in favor of an amendment is not bound by its provisions. A state-party which does not participate in a vote on an amendment may ‘opt-out’ of the amendment’s requirements during a 100-day period following its adoption." As we know, US voted in favour or to add low- and intermediate-level radioactive wastes and industrial wastes to Annex I (the black list), did not opt out and is thus bound by the treaty, as has been repeatedly stated by reliable sources about this matter, but for the record, I'll give you a few last references to show that the the LA Timesthee NY TimesAssociated Pressthe EPAand a republican Congressman all consider that the US covered by the ban.
  • I've reverted your edit [18] which is not WP:V verifiable from the sources given, is WP:OR and does not have WP:CONSENSUS. As I said above, not restore it without providing high quality secondary sources that can verify your edits. Slp1 (talk) 14:32, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
"the mass of reliably sourced evidence that international law prohibits the ocean dumping" Slp, I truly don't understand why you're having difficulty understanding this. Let's try one more time. No one disputes your statement there. "International Law" does prohibit dumping. The point you can't comprehend is that international law is not the same as national law -- it is binding only upon those nations which have agreed to be bound. There are very few "international laws" that affect every nation on the planet ... and, as the sources very clearly show, this isn't one of them. Fell Gleamingtalk 14:51, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Okay, so if I understand you correctly, you would like to point out that the London Convention doesn't apply to countries such as Andorra, Albania, Nepal, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay etc. This is true, but why is this relevant for this article? Have you got some reliable sources connecting any of these countries to Challenger Deep sub-seabed dumping? --Slp1 (talk) 16:59, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
It also doesn't apply to nations like North Korea, Israel, or a few other states that generate nuclear waste. Do you need a source to verify that? In any case, since you seem emotionally aligned on the issue, I'm willing to agree to a compromise text. We don't need to identify any nations specifically; just state that dumping is banned per the London Convention and Protocol. Fair enough? Fell Gleamingtalk 17:08, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry to have delayed getting back to this. Okay then, do you have any evidence that North Korea, Israel etc are considering Challenger Deep sub-seabed dumping? But yes, your suggestion would be fine, since it accurately reflects the sources. On the other hand your ad hominem insuations about my mental state and motivations are not fine at all. And I notice that the edit you added UNCLOSII] which is not verifiable from the citations given. The only one that mentions is states that UNCLOSII "also has some provisions that can be interpreted" as covering subseabed disposal. Let's go with your suggestion --Slp1 (talk) 00:53, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

What the now-present sources say on feasibility[edit]

Re the disputed section (three sentences in total, currently) on nuclear waste disposal, I carefully reviewed the sources currently cited, and revised the text in this edit, for better fidelity to what the sources actually say. FellGleaming evidently agreed that my first two sentences better represented what the sources say, since he left those alone. But he reverted my third-and-final sentence:

  • My 3rd sentence: Scientists differ in their views as to whether such a disposal method might be feasible, with most expressing cautious optimism, but such dumping is forbidden by international law governing dumping of waste.
  • Was Replaced by: The disposal method is technically feasible, but such dumping is forbidden by international law governing dumping of waste.

FellGleaming didn't consider all the sources in current use in the paragraph that apply. There are three, of which only the first is unequivocally favorable to the disposal method. In fact, one of the sources that was cited to support the disposal method actually rejects it in favor of land-based alternatives. Here are the three sources:

(1) There's page 187 of Hafemeister, which says this on the subject,

"[Excess weapons grade nuclear materials] could be deposited in very deep ocean trenches, such as the Challenger Deep, located in the Marianas Trench. The Challenger Deep is 11-km deep and slowly subducts into the Earth. This is technically sound but it violates the treaty that bans ocean dumping."

That's the quote FG relies on exclusively.
(2) Then there's this, a single paragraph on [page 279 of An Introduction to Physical Science]. Here's the paragraph in its entirety:

"More down to Earth is the subductive waste disposal method. Subduction refers to a process in which one tectonic plate slides underneath another and is absorbed in the Earth's mantle (see Chapter 21.1). If a repository were located on a subducting plate, both the waste and the plate would be absorbed in the mantle. The most accessible site for the plate repository would be on the ocean floor where plate subduction occurs. The waste would have to be packaged for a long stay on the ocean floor, however, because subduction progresses at only a few centimeters per year. Back to Yucca Mountain."

It will be obvious to any unbiased editor who examins the paragraph in context that this source implies the disposal method is not feasible, with its "Back to Yucca Mountain", final sentence. Yucca Mountain is, of course, a potential land-based disposal site for radioactive waste.
(3) And there's this ref from Berkeley, that says,

"Further studies would be necessary, but several authors think that it is likely that the United States will resort to [subseabed disposal] in the not too distant future. Despite what seems to be cautious optimism by most commentators about the feasibility of [subseabed disposal], it is forbidden by international law."

Hardly an unequivocal endorsement of feasibility, either.

So which third-sentence for the paragraph better represents the sources we currently have, do you think? I very seldom reinstate something that another editor has deleted, but it's warranted in this case, and I have done so.  – OhioStandard (talk) 22:44, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

You are confused. Subseabed disposal is an entirely different group of proposals than subduction plate dumping; the two are in no way synonymous. Nor is a Berkeley Law url an authoritative source for a scientific point. Just as Viriditas was attempting to use a physics teacher to verify a point of law, you're attempting using a lawyer to verify a technical issue. Finally, the "Introduction to Physical Science" is a high-school level textbook; the Hafemeister source is more authoritative. But keep digging, I'm sure you can find someone who disagrees with Hafemeister. Until you do, however, misrepresenting your sources to claim "scientists disagree" is improper. And you should know that making contentious changes without consensus when the material is under active talk page discussion is frowned upon. Fell Gleamingtalk 23:24, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
You are the one that is confused, FellGleaming, and if you don't make an attempt to start watching what you say, I'm going to escalate this farther than a simple ANI and noticeboard complaint. There is no indication that The Introduction to Physical Science (2009) book is used solely as a high school level textbook, as the preface and publishers blurb make crystal clear. The book is considered a college level textbook.[19] Please read them carefully and show that you have understood what you have read so that I don't have to come back here and correct you again. The Berkeley Law website, as you have repeatedly been informed, has nothing to do with this topic. We cannot cherry pick sources to say what we want them to say, based on points we want to personally make. We use information from the sources, in whole, in full context, and without synthesis. This is very clear. Please show that you understand it. Viriditas (talk) 02:29, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
EDIT. Here is a peer-reviewed paper [20] on subseabed disposal, so you can see it has essentially nothing in common with the subduction plate dumping approach this article is referring to. No one is going to build a subseabed repository at Challenger Deep, seven miles beneath the ocean's surface. Fell Gleamingtalk 23:30, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
(e/c) I wasn't attempting to do anything but represent the sources that actually exist in the article at present, as a moment's reflection will make obvious. I didn't put the refs there, and I didn't say I like them: they're just what we have at present. But thanks for pointing out SSD is a different method, I didn't know there was more than one undersea method, and I'm always happy to learn something new. So does anyone (besides FG) think I need to revert the change, i.e. is there really unanimity among scientists that this "subduction plate" method is feasible? Or is it more accurate to say that there's a difference of opinion, with most scientists coming in as "cautiously optimistic" on the question? Or is saying most scientists are "cautiously optimistic" too sanguine? Hmm ... "feasible" usually means, "We think this would work, even though we've never tried it." I'll leave it alone for now, pending the development of the thread above.  – OhioStandard (talk) 23:33, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I see FellGleaming couldn't wait for other's opinions, and has reverted again. That must mean there's no difference of opinion among scientists as to the feasibility of the subduction method. That's good to know; I suppose scientists must have been doing a trial run for the last thousand years or so, and have found it worked, that no radioactive material escaped? I'm surprised he didn't say "as per talk page consensus" in his edit summary, though.  – OhioStandard (talk) 23:50, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
To see why that HS textbook is a poor source, consider the case of dumping a a typical CANDU fuel rod bundle. At only 10 cm in diameter, dropped horizontally it would subduct in less than three years time. A more realistic case of a 30x60 cm vitrified block dropped in worst-case alignment would still subduct in about 20 years. To drive the point further home -- assume it never subducted at all...what then? Even assuming the radionuclides all eventually wind up dissolved in solution, the amount of becquerels released, when compared to the natural radioactivity found within the ocean itself, is an order of a million times smaller. Russia has been dumping spent nuclear reactor cores -- without vitrification, packaging, or any other safety mechanisms -- into shallow waters for decades; in some cases only a few hundred feet deep, and extensive studies have found no problems from such [21]. Vitrified material dropped into a 35,000 ft deep trench isn't coming back.
As a final point, the reason these measures are no longer widely discussed is simply because they're not necessary. Today's nuclear "waste" is going to be the fuel source of the near future. Our current reactor designs are 1960s-era technology. They extract only about 3% of the energy from the fuel. There are new GenIV designs that burn that "waste", extracting an order of magnitude more energy from it, as well as reducing the volume by as much as a factor of 100. And of course there's the point that current nuclear reactors have by and large been retaining the waste on site locally for in some cases the last half century. This "temporary" measure can continue indefinitely without any real problem. So why fight a public relations campaign to dump it in the ocean? Fell Gleamingtalk 00:08, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
FellGleaming, you need to stop repeating blatant distortions and misinformation. 1) There is no indication that The Introduction to Physical Science (2009) book is used solely as a high school level textbook, as the preface and publishers blurb make crystal clear. The book is considered a college level textbook.[22] I suggest you read the preface. It's usually a good idea to read a source before you criticize it. 2) There is no indication that it is a "poor source". 3) The source was chosen for you because you previously failed to identify a single reliable source on this topic. To date, you still have not found a reliable source on this topic. Instead of thanking me for helping you, you attacked me for helping you, which is beyond strange. You are welcome at any time to find another reliable source that supports this topic. Viriditas (talk) 02:25, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Please stop the personal attacks on article talk pages, Viriditas. Furthermore, you're misread my comments. I did not identify Hafemeister as a high school level textbook, but rather the Introduction to Physical Science source. Please calm down and avoid the battleground mentality. Fell Gleamingtalk 02:29, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I've removed the disputed content to the talk page until we have reached consensus on the matter. Stop edit warring and distorting policies and guidelines and work the issues out here on the talk page, taking into consideration what other editors have said and what the noticeboards have said as well. You need to start listening to other editors now, and attempt to reach consensus through reasonable discussion. Viriditas (talk) 02:32, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You are again violating basic WP policy. I refer you to Wikipedia:Don't revert due to "no consensus". Blanking an entire section can be construed as disruptive. Not all that material is under debate. Fell Gleamingtalk 02:40, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

You are again misinterpreting Wikipedia policies and guidelines. "Don't revert due to "no consensus" is an essay. Please learn the difference between essays, policies, and guidelines. Please also learn the difference between a removal and a revert. When there is no consensus for inclusion, it is best to remove disputed material and discuss on the talk page, taking into consideration the arguments of all editors in favor and against the material. Please show some good faith that you have understood the problem and you are willing to correct it. That's how we edit. Now, you need to start showing a change in behavior. I want to see you list the problems that have been directed towards your edits here, and I want to see you address those problems with solutions. Viriditas (talk) 02:44, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Viriditas, blanking an entire section because you believe "consensus hasn't been reached" is improper behavior. Hans Adler, Slp, Slatersteven, and myself are slowly reaching consensus on what is an accurate and neutral presentation. Please join the discussion, rather than blanket reverting mass content. If you have a specific objection to the current text, please detail it here. Fell Gleamingtalk 13:16, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
FellGleaming, you don't have consensus for your edits, based on the discussion here and on the OR noticeboard. Per WP:BURDEN, you need to develop consensus for your edits here on talk, and you need to use reliable sources about the topic to do it. I've been trying to help you, since you haven't demonstrated an understanding of how we do research, and I haven't seen the POV you are pushing significantly represented in our sources. I would therefore ask you to please do some research on this topic first, and to add the reliable sources for the material here on the talk page, instead of repeatedly forcing disputed material into the article. If this still isn't clear, I would invite you to revisit the OR noticeboard discussion, and directly address the problems raised there. So far, you've ignored every problem raised on this topic. We write from the sources, not from our POV. Viriditas (talk) 23:57, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is interesting, but I don't think it belongs here. Are there reliable sources that Challenger Deep in particular, more than other places in deep ocean trenches, is being considered as a disposal site? If not, this should go to a more appropriate article. Jonathunder (talk) 12:43, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

It's already mentioned in the nuclear waste and subduction articles, so any more information should go into expanding those sections. I can't imagine anyone choosing the deepest possible trench for disposal, even if other issues were solved, that would just be making life difficult for yourself. Mikenorton (talk) 14:47, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Searching on Google scholar and Google books using the string ' "nuclear waste" disposal "subduction zone" ', gives a few hundred hits, a reasonable proportion of which are relevant, doing the same with the string ' "nuclear waste" disposal "challenger deep" ' gives only a few hits, of which the Hafemeister 2007 book (which only gives the Challenger deep as an example) and one by Williscroft (the only one to mention disposal in the Challenger deep specifically) are the only two to directly link 'nuclear waste disposal' to the 'Challenger deep'. There appears nothing here to suggest that this form of disposal is being seriously considered in the Challenger deep as opposed to subduction zones in general. I would be happy to see this section removed, therefore, as irrelevant to the topic, as shown by a lack of supporting sources. Mikenorton (talk) 09:42, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree the section could be removed without harm to the article. In researching this earlier I certainly saw no groundswell of public or scientific-community demand saying, "We must dump nuclear waste in Challenger Deep!" As you say, there have been only a couple of mentions of the trench as a possible example of a subduction zone disposal site. Besides that, the description of subduction zone disposal as feasible is contradicted by multiple sources; from what I found there's certainly no consensus among geophysicists or oceanographers that subduction zone disposal is feasible or risk free.
This whole theme was pushed hard by a zealously pro-nuclear editor who (temporarily?) stopped editing on 24 September 2010 and is now subject to community sanctions. I'm under the impression that no one else would mind seeing this section disappear, although it would probably be a good idea to wait awhile longer before deleting it to give others the chance to comment, since so many editors were involved with the section previously. It would probably be a good idea, also, to leave a very clear edit summary indicating that the section is being removed, and following up with a statement to that effect on this talk page, as well, just as a courtesy to future editors who (I really hope they won't) might want to re-open the argument about this at some future date.
Oh, also: It would be courteous, should this section be removed, if whoever removes it were to move the relevant text and refs into other relevant articles, e.g. those on nuclear waste and perhaps (?) subduction zones. I know at least two editors put a huge amount of time into researching the matter, coming up with those refs, and making sure the language (well, except for the dubious "technically feasible" comment) was a fair representation of the scientific consensus.  – OhioStandard (talk) 19:29, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
Well I left it for five months and there were no further comments, so I've gone ahead and removed the section. I copied three of the references over to the nuclear waste article as suggested. Mikenorton (talk) 21:45, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Good on you, Mike; I'm glad you remembered this, and I'm grateful for your having followed the process through to its right conclusion. I can't say that I'd actually forgotten about it, but it might just be fair to say I'd not remembered it. ;-) Seriously, though, thanks very much for your diligence.  – OhioStandard (talk) 05:53, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

"deepest surveyed point"[edit]

"The Challenger Deep is the deepest surveyed point in the oceans" leaves one wondering whether there might be other, unsurveyed points that are deeper. It would be good if the article could mention how feasible it is that deeper points might exist, bearing in mind the detail to which the world's oceans have now been mapped. (talk) 18:42, 8 January 2011 (UTC).

I think that a change to "deepest known point" would be an improvement, because you're right that the entire globe has now been surveyed, so there aren't many places left that a deeper point could be 'hiding' and they would necessarily be in one of the known deeps, almost certainly in the Marianas trench itself, like the HMRG Deep or in the Tonga Trench, like the Horizon Deep. I'll make the change. Mikenorton (talk) 21:46, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

XPrize Foundation[edit]

I reverted an edit that removed this section in the lede. If it is bogus, no doubt there will be other sources that say so. Mikenorton (talk) 19:51, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

obvious error[edit]

instead of "table of contents" there is a russian line it says Содержание (talk) 13:34, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Not for me, and there were no edits since you reported this. Maybe someone made a problem in some central configuration file for this site and it was fixed quickly? Hans Adler 14:45, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Witja deep (11,034 Meters)[edit]

The german wikipedia ( as well as other german sources ( claim the deepest known point in the oceans is the "Witja Deep 1", which is 11,034 meters deep. It is part of the Mariana Trench as well and has been discovered by a russian exploration ship in the year 1957. Unless anyone can provide sources that claim otherwise, I propose to change the sentence "The Challenger Deep is the deepest known point in the oceans" to "The Challenger Deep is the second deepest known point in the oceans". (talk) 12:12, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

If that were true, it would be surprising if you couldn't find a reliable English source. I would have expected someone to have written about it in the intervening 53 years. I doubt whether your one German source trumps all the sources for Challenger Deep. - David Biddulph (talk) 13:08, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
This spot is referred to as the "Mariana Hollow" in the article on the 1957 Russian soundings. Since later and better sounders have not confirmed it, it remains dubious. Since these things don't measure depth to any better than +/- 20 m anyway, we may as well go with the latest and best figures, as the greater depth of the 1957 measurement is well within margin of error, especially with the old equipment. SBHarris 18:07, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

2011 updated data[edit]

Can somebody please integrate the following new information (sorry, don't have time to do it myself right new): Guinness2702 (talk) 14:34, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Done. Pyrope 16:35, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Nereus "record"[edit]

"Nereus thus became the first vehicle to reach the Mariana Trench since 1998". Is being first after last time someone/something else did somewhat notable? --ElfQrin (talk) 18:14, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

James Cameron Just made it[edit]

Sorry, don't have time to update at the moment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:14, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

I can't believe he didn't learn from experience of two Trieste dives, including the deepest, that "whited out" all visibility, once from hitting the bottom, thus ending all chance of seeing anything on that dive. The two challenges to getting to the bottom of Challenger deep are 1) making it there and back alive, and 2) seeing anything when you're there! A successful run is going to need a craft that touches down on spidery legs like the Lunar Module or one of those bacteriophages that have legs. SBHarris 00:23, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

"On March 25, 2012, Hollywood director James Cameron claimed a solo manned descent to the bottom of Challenger Deep, only the second since that done by Trieste in 1960." I think he is the --only-- solo diver. The Trieste was manned by a duo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Fixed with a qualifier. Second manned dive, first solo. SBHarris 01:01, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

The starting and bottom reaching times are given as 18:15 UTC Sunday (05:15 Monday, local time) and 21:52 UTC Sunday (07:52 Monday, local time), and is said The descent lasted 2 hours and 36 minutes. Well, 7:52 - 5:15 equals 2:37, that's ok. But 21:52 - 18:15 equals 3:37, so I think there is an error (or something to be explained). (talk) 09:09, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Horizon Deep[edit]

Interesting that Horizon Deep doesn't have an article, though HMRG Deep and Challenger Deep do... perhaps some mention of comparative deeps should occur here? HMRG Deep has some comparative information. (talk) 09:37, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

pressure math[edit]

"1,099 times that at the surface, or 111 MPa". 111 MPa is exactly equal to 1,110 bars (1,110 times that at the surface). Does anyone have access to the source (Marine Micropaleontology, Volume 42, Issues 1–2, May 2001, Pages 95-97) to clarify which way it reported the pressure, so we can change one of these numbers to agree with the other? -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:38, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

From the seawater article; The density of surface seawater ranges from about 1,020 to 1,029 kg•m−3, depending on the temperature and salinity. Deep in the ocean, under high pressure, seawater can reach a density of 1,050 kg•m−3 or higher.
If that article is right the water column pressure at great depth might be more complex than it seems due to salinity, temperature and compression interaction effects.--Francis Flinch (talk) 17:11, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Just looking at unit conversion, mean surface pressure is 101.3 kPa = 1.013 bars by convention. Thus, 111 MPa is 111/1.013 = 1095.7 times surface pressure, or 1096 times to 4 sig digits, not 1099 times. It's 1110 bars or 1110 atm only at 3 sig digits. If (on the other hand) you take the number 1099 times surface P as the primary data, and multiply by 1.013, you get 1113 times surface to 4 digits, not 1110. So again, something is wrong here at the 4th digit in just the conversion. But I don't know the primary number.

Physically, for reasons explained by the poster above, this pressure number would need to be measured directly to the 4th digit, as calculation by guessing at the mean density of the water in the column would only give you something accurate to 2 sig digits. In order to do better than 2 digits by semi-empirical calculation, this would have to be numerically integrated as

P(total) = P(surface) + g ∫ ρ(x)dx

where ρ(x) is water density as a function of depth and x is depth, with integration limits of zero to the max depth of Challenger Deep. Of course you must know density(x) as a function of depth x. This can't be measured directly by instruments, which only measure total pressure!, so you'd have to indirectly model this with seawater density ( as a function of pressure numbers ρ(P) that come out of a lab, and do the whole thing as a numerically solved differential equation dP/dx = g ρ(P(x)), like calculating pressures at depth in the Sun. Since, as noted, water density varies with depth/pressure at the 3rd sig digit (it's not perfectly incompressable-- nothing is).

In any case, if somebody measured the pressure directly at 111 MPa (3 digit accuracy), we should be reporting the figure of "times standard atm" only to 3 digits, not the 4 digits of 1099 atm. Thus, 1.11 x 10^4 times standard atmospheres, in order to make the uncertainty more explicit. If somebody measured 1099 atm, on the other hand, we can and should give MPa pressure to 4 digits, which is 111.3 MPa. SBHarris 19:01, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

I stand corrected, then, if 1 bar isn't surface pressure. But 1096 at 4 sig figs is 1100 (not 1110) at 3 sig figs -- unless I'm making another bad assumption somewhere. Thanks for the rest of that analysis -- fully agreed. -- JHunterJ (talk) 21:29, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Sure enough. 1096 (4 digits) = 1100 (3 digits), or of course, better written 1.10 x 103. And you have to take into account surface pressure of about 1 atm (as an old scuba diver I should have remembered that!) Thanks. Doing the simple mean pressure as P = 101300 N/m^2 + ρgh, where ρ is put at 1040 kg•m−3 (the mean of the numbers you give for density) and depth is taken as 10900 m, we get a pressure of 1.113 x 10^8 N/m^2 or 111.3 MPa or 1113 bar. Not bad, for a rough back-of-envelope guess! Anyway, we have to find the original pressure measurement by one or more manned or unmanned submersibles. SBHarris 16:44, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
In the atmosphere (unit) article various ways to express pressure are dealt with. The MPa and bar can be interchanged without much thought and definition effort. Surface pressure sadly is not constant. The density of air article explains this. The Standard conditions for temperature and pressure, International Standard Atmosphere and U.S. Standard Atmosphere articles are also worth reading. Beware the International Standard Atmosphere defines the average air pressure at mid latitudes at sea level for dry air (0% relative humidity) at 15°C. This 0% relative humidity atmospheric condition will be virtually impossible over the seawater covered Challenger Deep. Humidity has a counter intuitive impact. Since water vapor has a density of 0.8 grams per litre, while dry air averages about 1.225 grams per litre, higher humidity actually decreases the air density. Like other locations the air density (and the weather) over the Challenger Deep will vary.
For this article the main concern is the water column pressure at great depth that might be more complex than it seems due to salinity, temperature and compression interaction effects. The Pascal and psi are the preferred SI and Imperial units to express pressure.--Francis Flinch (talk) 08:53, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
To be sure, but I'm not sure the reader really cares that the pressure at depth in the Challenger Deep is some multiple of the LITERAL barometric air-pressure that day above the surface of the ocean in the southwest Pacific, off Guam. I think multiples of a standard atmosphere (1.013 bar), just as a way to get the mind around it, would do fine. SBHarris 16:44, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

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