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Images: How Is the Seafloor Made?

This image was created using sound waves that traveled through the ocean, through the seafloor, and back up to recorders trailing a ship on the surface. By measuring the time it takes for the sound waves to return, scientists can detect different layers of rocks and sediments—in this case, the top of the seafloor crust and the layer of sediments lying on top of it. (Hannah Mark, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, with data from the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology)
An ocean bottom seismograph sits on the seafloor. It records seismic waves that move through the ocean, ocean crust, or upper mantle. The waves can come from natural sources such as earthquakes or from artificial sources, such as airguns, which scientists use to investigate undersea features. (ROV Jason, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
The research vessel Marcus G. Langseth provides unique seismic exploration capability for the United States academic research community. It is operated by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Sandbox Studios, San Francisco, CA)
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is the world's leading non-profit oceanographic research organization. Our mission is to explore and understand the ocean and to educate scientists, students, decision-makers, and the public.
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