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Three members of the WHOI team: Christopher German, Jian Lin, and Dana Yoerger.

Mission Accomplished

WHOI scientists Christopher German (left), Jian Lin (center), and Dana Yoerger stand in front of the ABE autonomous underwater vehicle on the deck of the Chinese research vessel Dayang 1 in March 2007. Working with colleagues from the China Ocean Mineral Resources R&D Association (COMRA), the WHOI team deployed ABE to help find seafloor hydrothermal vents on a mid-ocean ridge that, until now, remained elusive. Scientists initially thought ultraslow-spreading ridges—such as the Southwest Indian Ridge, where the new discovery was made—would be too cold to host large hot vents. But in the past decade, some scientists began to hypothesize that the slower a ridge spreads, the fewer vents it would have—but the bigger the vent fields would be. “This cruise confirmed that hypothesis,” said Lin.
(Photo courtesy of InterRidge Program)


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