Challenger at Sea: A Ship That Revolutionized Earth Science

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Overview

The famous geological research ship Glomar Challenger was a radically new instrument that revolutionized earth science in the same sense that the cyclotron revolutionized nuclear physics, and its deep-sea drilling voyages, conducted from 1968 through 1983, were some of the great scientific adventures of our time. Beginning with the vessel's first cruises, which lent support to the idea of continental drift, the Challenger played a key part in the widely publicized plate-tectonics revolution and its challenge to ...
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Overview

The famous geological research ship Glomar Challenger was a radically new instrument that revolutionized earth science in the same sense that the cyclotron revolutionized nuclear physics, and its deep-sea drilling voyages, conducted from 1968 through 1983, were some of the great scientific adventures of our time. Beginning with the vessel's first cruises, which lent support to the idea of continental drift, the Challenger played a key part in the widely publicized plate-tectonics revolution and its challenge to more conventional theories. Here the leading oceanographer and earth scientist Kenneth Hsu offers an intensely personal account of the experiences of the ship's diverse crews - the sailors, drillers, marine technicians, and scientists who braved not only the ocean's resistance to surrendering its secrets but also the difficulties of balky machinery, physical illness, close quarters, and all-too-human temperaments. But the intellectual rewards of the journeys also abounded, and Hsu is the ideal writer to convey the excitement with which he and other crew scientists pursued them. The quintessential insider, he offers biographical sketches, humorous anecdotes, background information from the history of geology, and excerpts from the ship's daily operational report - all skillfully combined with a narrative history of the ship's explorations in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans and the polar seas. From a description of the much-debated drilling of a "Mohole" that would reach a mysterious realm ten kilometers below the ocean to a summary of the seafloor evidence for a meteor's having "murdered" the dinosaurs, the work provides an overview of the current state of marine geology and a source book for the history of that science.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691087351
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1992
  • Pages: 454

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Plates
Preface to the American Edition
Preface to the Chinese Edition
Preface to the German Edition
Acknowledgments
Pt. 1 The Eve of a Revolution, 1963-1968
Ch. 1 Moho and Mohole 3
Ch. 2 Ice Age and LOCO 21
Ch. 3 The Challenger Goes to Sea: The Inauguration of Glomar Challenger 35
Ch. 4 The Earth Science Revolution 46
Pt. 2 The Breakthrough, 1968-1973
Ch. 5 A Game of Numbers 75
Ch. 6 Atlantic and Tethys 95
Ch. 7 Arc and Trench in the Mediterranean 108
Ch. 8 Swallowing Up of the Ocean Floor 130
Ch. 9 Marginal Seas 146
Ch. 10 Hope and Frustration in Nauru 162
Ch. 11 Hawaiian Hot-Spot 184
Ch. 12 India's Long March 198
Pt. 3 Exploring New Territories, 1973-1975
Ch. 13 Antarctic Adventures 219
Ch. 14 Mid-Cretaceous Anoxia 238
Ch. 15 When the Mediterranean Dried Up 255
Ch. 16 The Black Sea Was Not Always Black 274
Pt. 4 Seeding a New Revolution While Mopping Up, 1975-1983
Ch. 17 Getting Stuck in Ocean Crust 299
Ch. 18 Eating Peanuts on Ocean Margins 317
Ch. 19 What Makes the Ocean Run 338
Ch. 20 The Great Dying 355
Epilogue 384
Appendix A: Deep-Sea Drilling Legs 393
Appendix B: Bibliographical Notes 403
Index 409
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2000

    An account that revolutionizes scientific writing!

    Dr. Hsu has written an exceptional account not only on his experiences on the Challenger but has compiled an outstanding introduction to understanding global tectonics and crustal evolution of the earth. Beneficial reading for undergrads, grads, and practicing earth scientists interested in tectonics, deep drilling for scientific purposes, and exploration and genesis of resources associated with plate tectonics.

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