The physical sciences are a massively diverse discipline. Within the context of the
physical sciences, one might explore a wide range of phenomena, utilizing a wide range of
differing methodologies and theoretical perspectives. For instance, the same discipline that
emphasizes the study of organisms, their function, and interaction with the ecosystem in the field
of biology, may also emphasize the study of the earth itself and natural geological processes in
the field of earth science and oceanography. Earth science is a particular discipline of scientific
inquiry which has been invaluable in constructing a coherent narrative of the geological history
of the planet, as well as in understanding the nature and character of certain natural phenomena,
such as weather and temperature effects. Oceanography addresses more specific concerns by
studying the deep oceans and the shallow coastal oceans. Biology, chemistry, geology and
physics together make oceanography a richly interdisciplinary science.
With recent cultural emphasis being placed upon ecological and conservational concerns
such as global warming and ecological development, oceanography studies are growing in
importance and relevance. As an example of this, one might take a brief look at one particular
topic of inquiry in oceanography, the study of ocean basins, and its relevancy towards present
day environmentalist discussions, concerns and historical importance.
This paper defines the concept of an ocean basin and to establish a foundation for the rest
of the paper. To begin a study into ocean basins and how they are relevant to ecological
concerns, one must first clearly understand what an ocean basin is. The ocean basin, also known
as the abyssal plain is the part of the ocean consisting of the “deepest waters above oldest
oceanic lithosphere,” (Allen, 2004). Imagine that one were on a shore and walking out into the
ocean; as one progressed, one...