Presently, scientists have additional methods to collect or observe the
sea floor. Specially equipped ships like the Resolution can drill
holes into the sea floor and retrieve cores of the ocean bottom. These
ships also have sonar which can help them look at features in detail.
Rocks and other data gathered by the ship have allowed marine scientists
to develop a good understanding of the composition and history of the
Research submersibles like the Alvin, have been useful in studying
the sea floor. These small submarines usually hold only a pilot and one
scientist, but can record the ocean bottom through cameras.