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Elevating Exploration

Elevating Exploration

January 30, 2019

A deep-sea “elevator” carrying samples from hydrothermal vents is hoisted from the water as members of the science team aboard the research vessel Atlantis watch from the rail of the ship. The elevator served as a shuttle from the seafloor, where the remotely operated vehicle Jason was exploring a hydrothermal vent field. Atlantis crew dropped the elevator with heavy weights and empty sample baskets to the seafloor. After filling the baskets, Jason tugged on a cable to release the weights and the yellow flotation balls brought the elevator back to the surface. Researchers then collected the samples, attached new weights, and sent the elevator back down. This allowed Jason to remain working at the seafloor for days at a time. (Photo by David Levin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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