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News Story - First exploration of Antarctica's vents and seeps

Date: 09 Jan 2009

James Clark Ross near Rothera.British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists and colleagues from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS), the Zoological Society of London and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the USA are set to be the first to investigate in detail the creatures living around hot water vents surrounding the coldest continent, Antarctica.

The team are onboard the BAS research ship the RRS James Clark Ross on a voyage to locate and explore life around two poorly-understood deep-sea habitats - hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. The five-week NERC-funded project called ChESSO, or Chemosynthetic EcoSystems in the Southern Ocean, is part of a ten-year scientific initiative known as the Census of Marine Life.

The research cruise begins on 14 January and finish 18 February.

They will be reporting regularly on