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Popping Rocks Alvin dive

Deep Science

WHOI geologist Adam Soule looks out of the pilot's porthole on the human-occupied submersible Alvin during a dive near the mid-Atlantic Ridge in 2016. Soule, who is also the chief scientist for the National Deep Submergence Facility, was participating in the cruise to help search for "popping rocks"—samples of seafloor basalt that cooled rapidly when exposed to seawater, trapping high concentrations of carbon dioxide and other gases inside. Soule and other scientists are examining these rocks, which can literally pop when brought to the surface, for clues to the composition and evolution of Earth's mantle. (Photo by Mark Kurz, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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