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Scientists have discovered thousands of new mountains in the unlikeliest of places: The seafloor.
The seamounts — more specifically, underwater volcanoes — revealed themselves as part of a new ocean floor–mapping project conducted by researchers at California’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and other organizations. The project also sheds light on how the continents were formed. The scientists published their research Friday (Oct. 3) in the journal Science.
Though the ocean floor has previously been studied, there’s now better data, and more of it, too, David Sandwell, lead paper author and an SIO geophysicist, told weather.com. “We used a completely different approach,” he said.
The researchers looked at information from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 satellite andNASA’s Jason 1 satellite. Though the satellites themselves aren’t new, using them to look at the ocean floor is, Sandwell said.