Scientists set off from Costa Rica on Sunday to drill a hole deep under the sea and directly extract rocks from record depths that could add to the understanding of climate change.
On a 140-meter (460-foot) ship that resembles an oil platform, the 30-member scientific team will bring back rocks from 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) beneath the sea off Costa Rica's Pacific coast.
"This will be a big step forward but we're still not getting to the mantle -- the mantle is still 3 kilometers (2 miles) away," said the expedition's co-chief, Damon Teagle, of Britain's University of Southampton.
An examination of rocks from the crust and mantle could shed light on how tectonic plates -- vast pieces of the Earth's crust -- formed and how they move. When the plates move against one another they can cause earthquakes.
Scientists also think details about the composition of the lower crust might help them better understand climate change.
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SOURCE: The Huffington Post