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gakkel ridge discovery

Polar Slurpee

A plexi-glass reservoir holds orange microbial material slurped up by the vacuum sampler on the towed vehicle Camper, as well as tiny black shards of volcanic glass that covered large areas of the Arctic Gakkel Ridge seafloor. Chemical analyses of these shards may provide evidence of unusually explosive seafloor volcanism, which is rare under the tremendous pressure more than 2.5 miles below the ocean surface. Genetic analysis of the microbes is revealing life forms that thrive around this volcanic glass.

(Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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