- Associated Press - Friday, August 22, 2014

BUXTON, N.C. (AP) - Researchers plan to study the ocean floor off North Carolina using sonic blasts to learn how the continents broke apart.

The study is planned next month and in October, the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk (https://bit.ly/1BJzKwL) reported.

Michele Walker with the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management says the ships conducting the study will be in important fishing waters off the Outer Banks.

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory plans to work through the National Science Foundation to operate two ships towing an array of air guns from 10 to 260 miles offshore. The routes would cover 3,000 miles.

Scientists think the supercontinent Pangaea broke up into the separate continents about 200 million years ago. Researchers will look at the role of magnetism in forcing the continents to drift apart.



The study is not the only one.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has approved a more comprehensive survey off the state’s coast for oil and gas deposits. Work on that could begin late this year, Walker said.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, https://pilotonline.com

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