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A model of the origin and evolution of the Gulf of Mexico has been substantially confirmed by core samples taken from the Gulf floor by the Glomar Challenger, according to Richard T. Buffler of the University of Texas at Austin and Wolfgang Schlager of the University of Miami, co-chief scientists of the research vessel's leg 77.

Analysis of samples taken from six sites in the southeastern area of the Gulf shows that the Gulf of Mexico originated in much the same way and almost simultaneously with the North Atlantic Ocean. Until recently, the Gulf's origin did not fit the commonly accepted model of ocean evolution, explained Buffler.