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Vol. 42, No. 2, April 2004

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Deep Ocean Exploration

Investigating Earth’s dynamic processes
The ongoing, fundamental forces that forge our planet—that generate earthquakes and volcanoes; that perpetually create and destroy Earth’s crust; that rip apart continents and smash them into one another; that create mountains like the Himalayas and island chains like Hawaii; that open and close ocean basins; that forge mineral deposits and generate oil and gas; and that brew chemical cauldrons that sustain rich communities of life in the sunless depths—most of this action occurs beneath the oceans.