Historians consider Ptolemy to be the founder of cartography. Part of the early effort to define lands and seas in Ptolemy’s time and for many centuries thereafter was devoted to the charting of coast lines. It was not until 1584, though, that the first maritime atlas was published: Der Spieghel der Zeevaert by Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer (Tooley and others, 1968). For the first time, printed charts showing soundings, sandbanks, landmarks, and coastal profiles became available to navigators, and from these charts an awareness evolved that beneath the sea water lay a surface of uneven relief. For two more centuries, depth soundings were taken with hand-held or winched hemp lines, each observation requiring several hours to make. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, that technology was only slightly improved by the use of galvanized steel wire mounted on reels. And yet, with information gathered by those primitive means, Maury was able to publish in 1854 a bathymetric map of the North Atlantic Basin, the first chart ever of an entire ocean basin with contour lines drawn every 1,000 fathoms (Schlee, 1973). H.M.S. Challenger, in 1870, opened the Pacific Ocean to scientific inquiry, and the first chart of that immense basin was published by John Murray (Murray and Lee, 1909). One cannot help admiring the intuition of these men who, with the help of very few observations, established charts that are still correct in their major outline.
Figures & Tables
This new synthesis includes a section on plate kinematics, documenting the basis for a new interpretation of the magnetic anomaly patterns. It also includes: six chapters on various aspects of tectonics, petrologic characteristics, and hydrothermal processes of active ridges from the Galapagos Rift to the Juan de Fuca Ridge; a section on mid-plate volcanism, including the Hawaii-Emperor chain; five chapters on various aspects of northeastern Pacific sedimentary regimes; and nine chapters on the geology of the Pacific continental margin from the Aleutians to Guatemala, seen from the perspective of marine geology. Three separate oversize plates illustrate the bathymetry of the northeast Pacific; two more on the same base show distribution of sediment samples and types and magnetic anomaly data and tectonic interpretations; and others include a synthesis of the geology and bathymetry of the Hawaiian Islands, details of bathymetry along parts of the East Pacific Rise, and a major seismic profile across the Pacific margin of Guatemala.