Background on Gakkel Ridge, Arctic Exploration, and Hydrothermal Vents

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Map of the Arctic Ocean, looking down on the North Pole, shows the Gakkel Ridge, Nansen Basin, and the Lomonosov Ridge. (Data from the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean and the National Geophysical Data Center; with graphic enhancements by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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Map of seafloor bathymetry/topography of a 1,000-kilometer (620 mile) portion of the Gakkel Ridge, compiled from SeaBEAM sonar data gathered during the 2001 Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge Expedition (AMORE). (Courtesy of Henry Dick, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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Volcanic activity at mid-ocean ridges creates new seafloor crust that spreads outward to cover 70 percent of Earth's surface. Recent expeditions have led to the discovery of an entirely new type of mid-ocean ridge. (Illustration by E. Paul Oberlander, WHOI)

Unique Vehicles for a Unique Environment: New autonomous robots will pierce an ice-covered ocean and explore the Arctic abyss
Oceanus magazine article describes the origins of the Gakkel expedition, as well as the vehicles conceived to do this risky job

Scientists Report New Type of Mid-Ocean Ridge in Remote Parts of the Earth
A WHOI news release from November 2003

Earth's Complex Complexion: Expeditions to remote oceans expose new variations in ocean crust
Oceanus magazine article describes the phenomenon of ultra-slow spreading ridges, of which the Gakkel Ridge is the best example.

International Expedition to the Top of the World May Hold Clues To Formation of Earth's Crust:
First Cruise of New U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy

A WHOI news release from July 2001

Polar Discovery - Online Expedition
Follow the Gakkel Ridge expedition through daily photo-essays and "Live from the Poles" talks at a museum near you.

Dive and Discover Expedition 11
Teachers and students can read daily dispatches from the Gakkel expedition, email questions to the science party, and read primers and lessons on ocean exploration.

Arctic Websites to Take Students, Museum Visitors, and Web Surfers to the Ends of the Earth: Online Expeditions are Part of the International Polar Year
A WHOI news release from April 2007

AGAVE Grant Information from the National Science Foundation
Abstract of the original expedition proposal

Investigation of Hydrothermal Processes on the Gakkel Ridge (PDF))
Abstract submitted for International Polar Year

International Polar Year 2007-2008
Home site for coordinated polar research happening around the world


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Last updated June 20, 2007
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