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USGS CMG InfoBank: Challenges of Directly Observing the Sea Floor

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Comment: 21:39 - 22:40 (01:01)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 4. The Sea Floor
Keywords: dredge, camera, sample, submersible, "Tanya L. Atwater"

Our transcription: Despite the usefulness of indirect means of studying the sea floor, more direct observations must sometimes be made.
Samples are dredged to examine the make up of the sea bed, and cameras operated by remote control are sent to the bottom of the ocean.
You can imagine trying to take a picture it's really hard because it's pitch black, and so you have to have the lighting, you have to bring your own lighting and turn it on and off.
Then, some of the more glamorous ways to study the ocean floor are to actually go in a small submarine.
I've taken 12 dives to the deep ocean.
It's like going to Mars; it's so different.
But that's very frustrating too.
It's like trying to do Geology in a jeep at midnight with dirty windows with your headlights without ever being able to get out of the jeep.
It's very, very frustrating business.
It's lucky for us that the oceanic crust and processes in the ocean are relatively simple compared to the land, or we would never figure it out at all.

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