Durham University - Volcanic voyage for robot

May 29, 2008

Scientists will use robots to explore the growth of undersea volcanoes. Academics from Durham University will lead a team of 12 scientists - including researchers from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton and The Open University - who will use the machines to examine the volcanoes that build the Earth's crust on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. The research team set sail on the royal research ship James Cook from Ponta Delgada in the Azores last week. As well as mapping volcanoes on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which lies almost 3km below the surface of the sea, the team will use another robot to collect rock samples from the sea floor that will be dated to help determine more precisely the timescales behind the development of the Earth's crust.

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