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Healy researchers make a series of striking discoveries about Arctic Ocean

new ocean crust is continuously created as seafloor spreading takes place through volcanic activity. Many theories about seafloor spreading can be tested only on a slow-spreading ridge like the Gakkel. Geologists, oceanographers and biologists on both ships recovered numerous samples of rocks, mud, water as well as organisms from the seafloor that they will analyze in their labs.

The Arctic Ocean's isolation from major ocean basins has led scientists to debate whether ecosystems on Gakkel Ridge would more resemble those from the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, or whether they would have evolved separately. "These exciting discoveries on Gakkel Ridge pave the way for future expeditions that will map the vents and may discover completely new organisms" Michael said.

The AMORE research was the first full science expedition for HEALY after an extensive four-month program of icebreaking and science equipment testing in the Arctic last year.


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Contact: Peter West
pwest@nsf.gov
703-292-8070
National Science Foundation
28-Nov-2001


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