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US pledges funds to explore Puerto Rico trenches

August 7, 2014

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The U.S. government has pledged nearly $350,000 to help scientists in Puerto Rico explore the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, a trench just north of the island.

Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi says the money also will be used to explore a trench south of the U.S. territory.

He said Thursday that scientists will focus on studying biogeochemical processes in both trenches and on developing investigative procedures with remote-controlled submarines. Scientists believe both trenches are capable of causing a tsunami in the earthquake-prone Caribbean region.

Professors at the University of Puerto Rico’s Mayaguez campus will oversee the investigation.

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration is providing the federal funds.

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