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A Deep-Sea Magma Monster Gets a Body Scan

This summer, the 235-foot research vessel Marcus G. Langseth set out into the ocean off the Pacific Northwest. Trailing the ship were four electronic serpents, each five miles in length. These cables were adorned with scientific instruments able to peer into the beating heart of a monster a mile below the waves: Axial Seamount, a volcanic mountain.

The ship’s crew had one overriding imperative: Do not let the cables get tangled.

If they did, “it’s game over,” said Sam Mitchell, a submarine volcanologist who joined the voyage.

The Axial Seamount sits 300 miles off the coast of Oregon. Scientists have long had hints of its vast scale, but following sonar work by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the early 1980s, “the light bulb went off: wow, there’s a big volcano out here.”

Read more at The New York Times

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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