A $239 million National Science Foundation-funded lab located at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean aims to help researchers better understand climate change, earthquakes, volcanoes, animal migration, ocean acidification and exotic microbes, The Columbian reports.
The lab’s instruments will be stationed along a volcano off the Pacific Northwest coast and will give researchers from around the country the ability to monitor activity two miles below the ocean’s surface through the use of video cameras, seismic monitors and other gauges.
The lab is unique from other deep-sea research initiatives because it will be able to provide continuous data through the use of 600 miles of permanent cables.
Researchers will begin to install the hardware this July. The lab is expected to be completed by 2015.
Image: The Pacific Ocean from Diamond Head Crater (Credit: Daniel Ramirez, Wikimedia Commons)