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Mapping vent expedition

A Plan of Action

WHOI marine geochemist Chris German (right) and doctoral student Matt Hodgkinson of the National Oceanography Centre in England study a map of the seafloor from the Mid-Cayman Rise, an undersea mountain chain as much as 6,800 meters (4.2 miles) beneath the surface of the Western Caribbean Sea. In January 2012, German led an international expedition using the remotely operated vehicle Jason to return to, and sample, newly-discovered hydrothermal vent fields along this ultra-slow-spreading ridge, a region where two of Earth’s tectonic plates move apart and new material wells up from the interior.

(Photo courtesy of Julia DeMarines)


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