The ocean floor is responsible for covering 60% of the total surface on Earth. The area is so vast and wide that only a handful locations are fully studied. Unfortunately, the rate of its destruction is faster than our ability in understanding on how to save it. This article gives you 25 Destruction of Ocean Floor. Many natural disasters and occurrences contribute to these destructions but human activities have more negative impact on the sea floor.
1. Bottom Trawling
The fishing industries have tremendously been a huge contributor to the destruction of ocean floor as well as Overfishing in the Ocean. Their methods of fishing may help them gain a lot of profit. But that profit hurts the health of the ocean floor. Many fishing industries carry out the trawling method when they are out to fish in the ocean. Trawling is a method where a machine would thrown a large net into the ocean. The net is so heavy that it falls to the the very base of the sea floor. Once that is done, the net is dragged across the floor. This destroys everything that it comes in contact with.
There are many precious gas, minerals, oils and gems that lie under the ocean floor. Companies carry out mining to get these valuable materials. By mining into the ocean floor, they also destroy the very foundation of the ocean. The sea floor is an important place for many marine creatures but it does get destroyed every now and then when mining happens.
3. Iceberg Scraping
What we can mostly see from the iceberg that floats in the ocean is the tip. But what we don’t always realise is the biggest portion that lies under the ocean water. There is a huge amount to the rest of the iceberg tip. This iceberg would move and drag across the sea floor. It scrapes and hurt everything on its path. The sea floor gets damaged which causes a huge Destruction of Ocean Habitat to the worms, sea urchins and sea spiders that inhibit it as well.
Humans produce a lot of garbage on land that always somehow end up in the sea. Over the years, a huge amount of garbage accumulates in the ocean. Some may even end up on to the ocean floor. A lot of trash would then be spread all over the seafloor. The garbage destroys the clean habitat of the floor. The basic components of the sand on the floor are also contaminated by the garbage.
Earthquake is the process where the surface of the earth shakes due to the release of energy from deep inside the earth. There are a lot of damages that an earthquake can bring to land. Moreover, it can also cause destruction to the ocean floor. When an earthquake happens in the ocean, the ocean floor receives the most impact. The formation of the floor changes. Some may even experience a rise in the level of the floor. An earthquake can forever change the structure of the floor in the ocean.
6. Dead Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are important ecosystem to the marine lives in the ocean. They provide a suitable habitat as well as adding beauty to the ocean. Despite all that, coral reefs hold a very important job in the ocean. They maintain the stability and the strength of the ocean floor. According to studies, when coral reefs die out the sea floor sinks. The reason for that is because the coral reefs have provided the ocean floor with nutrients. When there are no longer healthy coral reefs, then the sea floor loses its supply for nutrients too.
7. Chemical Pollution
There are tons of chemical pouring out from homes and industries. These chemical waste make their way into the rivers. The rivers carry them into the oceans. In the end, they mix with the ocean waters. The natural circulation of the water in the ocean will cause the chemical to come in contact with the sand in the sea floor. Thus, the floor becomes contaminated with harmful chemical.
8. Anchor Damage
Another destruction to the ocean floor is through anchor damage. There are plenty of big ships sailing around the Oceans in the World. Those ships woulds sometimes have to drop their anchors down to the sea floor. The average weight of the anchors could reach up to 200kg. Moreover, these anchors drag across the ocean floor. The dragging causes sand erosion, making the ocean floor vulnerable and damaged.
Communication companies must lay big fibre cables on the ocean floor. These cables are what enable you to send electronic messages and view electronic contents through your device. Ships would carry these cables on long journey and carefully place them on the ocean floor. Flat surfaces are always preferable. However, these cables can cause damage to the sea floor. When sharks keep biting the cables, some parts of the cables may get release with harmful chemical leaking out. These chemicals pollute the sand.
10. Dumped Radioactive Waste
Radioactive waste are highly toxic and dangerous materials. Throwing them away would need careful procedure. The ocean is chosen as the safest way to discard radioactive waste. These waste are often buried into the sand of the ocean floor. However safe the procedure is, there is always a chance of some waste leaking out of its containers. When a leakage happens through the containers, some of the radioactive waste would leak on to the ocean floor.
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Other Destruction to Ocean Floor (11-25)
Other than the various kinds of destruction to ocean floor mentioned before, here is a list of more causes. These causes also contribute to many damage of the ocean floor.
- Dumped Munition: There are many kinds of ammunitions dumped into the ocean sea floor. Over time, the chemical from these ammunitions would experience leakage and damage the ocean floor.
- Dumped Chemical Weapons: Chemical weapons made by the different countries in the world are usually dumped under the sea floor. The floor experiences a disruption in its formation. There is also a high chance of poisoning the health of the sand on the ocean floor.
- Oil Spillage: Oil spillage happens all the time. If somehow the oil manages to get to the very base of the ocean floor, then the sand would mix with the oil. The ocean floor will be destroyed and marine creatures would not make it into their home.
- Gas Industry: The gas industry changes the formation of the sea floor in order to get all the gas out. Moreover, harmful gases are released through the sea floor which affects everything around it.
- Dredging: Dredging is when a huge machinery is used to scope out a lot of sand from the base of the sea floor. This causes unnecessary erosion making the layer of the ocean floor thinner.
- Oil Drillage: Drilling oil also destroys the basic foundation of the sea floor. Additionally, there is a high chance of oil leaking all over the sea floor.
- Junk: There are some man made junks that end up in the sea floor. These junks could be ship or plane debris. When these junk experience corrosion in the sea, their harmful component falls on to the ocean floor.
- Tsunami: Tsunami is a strong and large wave that could bring a huge Movement of Ocean Water into the land. While these waves travel through the ocean, they erode the sand on the ocean floor along with them.
- Sand Erosion: There are several locations in the ocean floor where sand erosion happens. All the materials from the sea floor are lifted up and carried away somewhere else.
- Hurricane: Hurricane is one of the Types of Ocean Storms. It can cause strong wave formation over the ocean. The waves may drag along the sand on the ocean floor causing a massive loss of land.
- Fishing Explosives: Fishing explosives can end up destroying the ocean floor. Through explosives, the ocean floor gets damage.
- More Coastal Development: Beaches and coastlines are always under new development to expand their land. Thus, the ocean floor is sacrificed for this need. The sand are taken away and the ocean floor is destroyed.
- Ocean Acidification: Worsening ocean acidification can also cause changes in the sand component. The sand can no longer provide a healthy nutrient as a strong foundation for the ocean floor. Read Prevention of Ocean Acidification to prevent further damage.
- Cyanide Fishing: This is a practice of fishing using cyanide. Cyanide is thrown to the habitat of the target fish but can also end up harming coral reefs. Coral reefs are vital to the ocean floor.
- Muroami: Another dangerous practice of fishing is called Muroami. Ropes and nets are used to encircle coral reefs. Coral reefs are pounded repeatedly to scare the fish out of the habitat. Destruction of Coral Reefs is unavoidable. Dead coral reefs means death to ocean floor too.
Of course humans cannot control natural disasters and occurrences from causing destruction. But what we can definitely do is to start doing small actions that would help the ocean. We can stop accumulating garbage and dumping toxic materials in order to save the ocean floor.