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A ‘Cupcake’ and a ‘Donut’—on the seafloor

With only five days left to find hydrothermal vents beneath the Arctic Ocean, scientists have targeted their efforts on two seafloor features whose shapes have reminded researchers of baked goods. One is a round mound with a distinct round depression in the middle, which has been dubbed “The Donut.” The second is smaller round mound with a flat top, which University of Texas geochemist Hedy Edmonds refers to as “The Cupcake.” Both have the characteristics of seafloor volcanoes, where venting is more likely, and both have shown some evidence of venting. Friday’s action focused on The Cupcake.

Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »

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