Science: Down in the Valley

During some 50 dives this summer as part of Project FAMOUS, the American submersible Alvin and its French counterparts Archimède and Cyana explored one of the earth's last great frontiers: the rugged, seismically active rift valley that cleaves the floor of the Atlantic almost all the way from the Arctic Ocean to Antarctica. Last week, as the scientists who took part in FAMOUS (for French-American Mid-Ocean Undersea Study) returned home from their expedition to the bottom of the sea, they reported that their little craft had discovered important new clues to the secrets of continental drift.

Buried under nearly two miles of...

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