Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Birth of an Ocean

I haven't posted science links of any sort but today I came across one that is so monumentally fascinating that it personally demanded to be shared. Apparently, a new ocean is forming in East Africa. Check this out:
A number of recent eruptions, though, have left layers of new basalt lava on the Earth's surface. And it's the exact same kind of lava that spews out of volcanic ridges deep under the ocean -- a process which slowly pushes older lava sediments away on either side. The process has only just begun in the Afar Triangle -- and scientists for the first time can witness the birth of a new ocean floor.
The full story can be read right here and it stunning to think that scientists, with all their modern high-tech equipment, can monitor Mother Nature as she births a new ocean. Oh, and I'd have had a heart attack if I was one of the scientists who landed there in September of last year. Read the story for why.

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