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China's largest global ocean expedition discovers 16 submarine hydrothermal deposits


13:43, December 12, 2011

QINGDAO, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Sixteen submarine hydrothermal deposits were discovered during China's largest global ocean expedition, researchers said.

The expedition vessel, Ocean No.1, returned Sunday to Qingdao, a coastal city in Shandong province.

The expedition, the country's 22nd, launched from Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, on Dec. 8, 2010. It spent 369 days in the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans, and was China's longest and most expansive ocean expedition.

Over the course of the expedition, 218 experts from 32 institutions engaged in research.

Tao Chunhui, the chief scientist, said that five of the 16 submarine hydrothermal deposits were discovered in the south of the Atlantic Ocean, and the other 11 in the east Pacific Ocean.

Hydrothermal sulfide samples, rock samples as well as fish samples were taken by the vessel, researchers said.

China has discovered 33 submarine hydrothermal deposits in the three oceans since the 19th expedition in 2007, comprising one tenth of the discovered submarine hydrothermal deposits in the last three decades.

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