Science: A Famous Project

It is the largest, most awesome geological feature on the face of the earth: a 40,000-mile-long, quake-prone chain of mountains and valleys that winds around the planet like the stitching on a baseball. Yet because most of this mid-ocean ridge system lies deep beneath the waves, little is known about how its activity affects the formation of mineral deposits, changes the ocean floor and even causes the slow movement of entire continents. During the next three months French and American scientists hope to learn much more about the mysterious undersea area by...

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