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Large-scale undersea features of the northeast Pacific

By
Jacqueline Mammerickx
Jacqueline Mammerickx
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Published:
January 01, 1989

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.

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DNAG, Geology of North America

The Eastern Pacific Ocean and Hawaii

E. L. Winterer
E. L. Winterer
Scripps Institution of Oceanography La Jolla, California 92093
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Donald M. Hussong
Donald M. Hussong
University of Hawaii Department of Geology and Geophysics Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
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Robert W. Decker
Robert W. Decker
4087 Silver Bar Road Mariposa, California 95338
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Geological Society of America
Volume
N
ISBN electronic:
9780813754659
Publication date:
January 01, 1989

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