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Marine Technology

Life Cycle of a Deep-Sea Sample

Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and other technologies provide amazing, high-definition imagery of deep-sea environments, but there are some things scientists can only learn by examining actual specimens. For example, geologists need a physical rock sample to accurately determine what it is made of, how old it is, and where it originated. Species-level identification of unique organisms can usually only be made when a biological sample is collected and brought back to the lab. Carefully collecting and analyzing biological, geological, and water samples from deep-sea environments provides a valuable record of deep-sea ecosystems and their inhabitants, leading to the discovery of species new to science and novel environmental processes. Learn more about the different types of deep-sea sampling and the tools used for collection.

Download our print-friendly fact sheet to learn more about what happens to a deep-sea sample after it is collected.

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