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Sea floor with various bottom invertebrates (benthons) in front of an ice wall in McMurdo Sound in Antarctica

The Benthal is the area of ​​life ( biotope ) on, on and in the bottom of a body of water .

In inland waters , the Benthal is divided into the Litoral (the light, warm summer upper floor) and the Profundal (the dark, cold lower floor).

The ocean floor (marine benthal) is subdivided into littoral (coastal zone), the neritic zone ( shelf , shallow sea, up to 200 m sea ​​depth ), bathyal (continental slope, 200 m to 4000 m), abyssal (4000 m to 6000 m) and hadal. Bathyal, Abyssal and Hadal together form the bottom of the deep sea , to which no light can penetrate. A different definition does not include the bathyal as part of the deep sea.

The Hadal (about gr . Hades 'underworld', adjective: hadal ) the deepest areas of the ocean floor increases from about 6500 m depth one - the term is not used uniformly. The Hadal is the area of ​​the deep sea , such as the Mariana Trench in the Pacific with a depth of over 11,000 m. The living world in this part of the deep sea is largely unexplored, but probably similar to that of the Abyssal. The organisms living here are mainly destructive , such as bacteria and crustaceans .

The community of the Benthals is called benthos (benthon). The benthale phytal is the light-flooded ( euphotic ) area of ​​the water floor populated by plants ( phytobenthos ) .


  • Alan Jamieson: The hadal zone - life in the deepest oceans. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2015, ISBN 978-1-10-701674-3 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Jamieson 2015, p. 19 @ google books