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Scientists embark on expedition to submerged continent Zealandia

Surrounding New Zealand is a mass of Earth's crust about half the size of Australia, the continent Zealandia. What makes Zealandia different from other continents is that more than 90 percent of it is submerged. Increasingly detailed seafloor maps have attracted attention and now scientists are asking: What secrets does it hold? To find out, 30 researchers will set sail July 27 on a two-month ocean drilling expedition to search for clues to Zealandia's history. Participants in International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 371, will join more than 20 crew members in drilling at six Tasman Sea sites at water depths ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 meters. At each site, the scientists will drill from 300 to 800 meters into the seafloor to collect cores--complete samples of sediments deposited over millions of years. The cores hold fossil evidence the scientists will use to assemble a detailed record of Zealandia's past.

Visit Website | Image credit: IODP