Devil's Hole (North Sea)
Devil's Hole is a group of deep trenches in the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 about 200 kilometers (125 mi) east of Dundee
Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

, Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...


The features, which were first charted by HMS Fitzroy, were officially recorded in the Royal Geographical Society
Royal Geographical Society
The Royal Geographical Society is a British learned society founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences...

's Geographical Journal in 1931. Sounding
Sounding generally refers to a mechanism of probing the environment by sending out some kind of stimulus. The term derives from the ancient practice of determining the depth of water by feeding out a line with a weight at the end....

s showed that the surrounding seabed is between 80 and 90 meters (260 - 300 ft) but the trenches are as deep as 230 m (750 ft). They run in a north-south direction and are on average between 1 and 2 km (.6 - 1.25 mi) in width and 20 to 30 km (12 - 18 mi) long.

Historically fishermen have known about the Devil's Hole for generations because they have lost trawl nets on the trenches' steep sides. It's for this reason that the area took its name.

The trench sides in the Devil's Hole are steep - up to 10° in places. In a comparison, the Continental Slope
Continental shelf
The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain. Much of the shelf was exposed during glacial periods, but is now submerged under relatively shallow seas and gulfs, and was similarly submerged during other interglacial periods. The continental margin,...

 northwest of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

only has an average gradient of 1°.
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