ELEMENTS OF OCEANOGRAPHY

 

TOPIC 2 - HISTORY OF OCEANOGRAPHY [Lecture ppt | pdf]

Overheads:

Ancient Uses of the Oceans
Egyptian and Mesopotamian Cultures and early trade (~3200 BC)
Minoans as the first true maritime power (~2000 BC-1200 BC)
Phoenician and Greek colonization of the Mediterranean (~1200 BC - 400 BC)
Polynesian colonization of South Pacific Islands (~4000 BC - 1000 AD)

Early Developments in our Understanding of the Oceans - I
Early Greek ideas about oceans and marine life.
­ Origin of science as we define it today - Thales of Miletus (~600 BC)
­ Aristole catalogued marine organisms (~350 BC)
­ Erastosthenes calculated circumference of spherical Earth (~250 BC)

Early Developments in our Understanding of the Oceans - II
Technological Aids
­ Polynesian/Phoenician/Greek maps
­ Ptolemy created the first world atlas (~150 AD)
­ Coastal Markers
­ Lighthouse - Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria was one of the 7 Wonders of the World
­ Star patterns

The Age of European Exploration and Discovery
1420 - Prince Henry founded the first school for navigation
1480 to 1520 - Europeans (re)discovered the Americans and first sailed the Pacific, Indian, and Southern Oceans.
Magellan (1520) and Drake (1580) circumnavigated the Earth

The Modern Search for Scientific Knowledge of the Oceans - I
1768/79 - Captain James Cook made three voyages of Scientific discovery (HMS Resolution)
­ Determined the outline of Pacific Ocean
­ Discovered New Zealand, Australia, Hawaiian Islands
­ Measured surface ocean conditions
­ Made first accurate maps of oceans using chronometer (to determine longitude)

The Modern Search for Scientific Knowledge of the Oceans - II
1831/36 - HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin
1872/76 - The HMS Challenger expedition
­ First modern deep-ocean scientific expedition
­ Measured conditions of deep ocean (chemistry, temperature, biology, bottom sediment)
­ Measured depth of ocean in several hundred locations with deep ocean sounding (cannonballs and ropes)

The Modern Search for Scientific Knowledge of the Oceans -III
1925 - The German Meteor Expedition
­ Mapped areas of ocean bottom using echo sounding
Post WWII explosion in marine scientific research
­ First maps of ocean floor topography (1952)
­ Theory of Plate Tectonics

 

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