HADEEP (HADal Environment and Educational Program) is a collaborative project based at the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab. It stated in 2006 with the first of four HADEEP projects called “Nippon-UK Hadal Science and Education Partnership” in collaboration with the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute at the University to Tokyo, Japan and funded by the Nippon Foundation. This project primarily funded participation in several expeditions to the deep trenches of the Pacific Rim. The technology that was needed was funded by NERC in the project “Life at extreme depth; fishes and scavenging fauna of the abyssal to hadal boundary” which ran concurrently with the Nippon Foundation grant.
HADEEP 2 or “Multi-disciplinary investigations of the deepest scavengers on Earth” followed on in 2010 and was funded by the Total Foundation in France. This project saw further technological developments and two more expeditions to the trenches. In 2012, funding from the marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS) supported the construction of a new lander and another expedition (HADEEP 3). Last year, HADEEP 4 was funded by the Total Foundation. This project, entitled “Trench Connection” is supporting this trip. HADEEP 2-4 has been a collaboration between Oceanlab and NIWA in New Zealand.
The overarching point of HADEEP is to firstly, design, construct and operate new technology capable of imaging and collecting biological samples from the deepest places on Earth.
With these we have been examining depth-related and geographic trends in diversity, in particular how the hadal communities changes through the transition from the surrounding abyssal plains to the hadal trenches, and how the communities differ from one trench to another. We have also been research physiology and behaviour of these animals as they inhabit a rather extreme environment in regards to high pressure, low temperature and low food supply.
The highlights of this research so far have been unequivocally proving that decapods do exist in the trenches, filming of the deepest fish seen alive (Click here), filming the deepest fish in the southern hemisphere (Click here), having a hadal amphipod named after Alan (Click here) and finding the ‘supergiant’ amphipod in trenches and the southern hemisphere for the first time (Click here). This work has also gathered significant public interest which has led to various interesting public outreach endeavours such as Blue Peter (Click here), the Filmic Art 3D Deep Ocean Experience Blu-Ray DVD (Click Here), and various other media activities.
FS Sonne 194 (Germany) (2007) Tonga and Kermadec Trench
RV Hakuho-Maru KH-07-3 (Japan) (2007) Japan Trench
RV Kairei KR-07-16 (Japan) (2007) Mariana Trench
RV Hakuho-Maru KH-08-01 (Japan) (2008) Japan Trench
RV Tansei-Maru KT-09-02 (Japan) (2009) Izu-Bonin Trench
RV Kaharoa KAH0910 (NZ) (2009) Kermadec Trench
FS Sonne 209 (Germany) (2010) Peru-Chile Trench
RV Kaharoa KAH1109 (NZ) (2011) Kermadec Trench
RV Kaharoa KAH1202 (NZ) (2012) Kermadec Trench
RV Kaharoa KAH1301 (NZ) (2013) Kermadec Trench
RV Kaharoa KAH1310 (NZ) (2013) New Hebrides Trench