Dig down through the seabed sediment and you are looking back in time to what the planet was like thousands of years ago53° 46.74 S, 38° 06.67 WThis has been the week of mud. It's amazing what geologists can dig up from the ocean floor, given a winch and a glorified drainpipe. Throughout this trip, the ship's sonar systems have been painting a picture of the ocean floor kilometres below us, showing us the mountains and valleys of the deep. But hidden in hollows and trenches in that subsurface landscape are pockets of geological treasure, and this week the ship has been treasure-hunting.One of the oddest concepts in oceanography is something called marine snow. There are tiny organisms living close to the ocean surface that build themselves from carbonate and silica in the water. When they die, they leave behind delicate but solid shell fragments and these have nowhere to...
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