Marie Thrap discovered that the profiles of the heights had the same pattern (V-shaped cracks)
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This Monday, November 21, Google honored Marie Thrap, American geologist and oceanographic mapper who helped test theories of continental drift by making a groundbreaking map of the ocean floor. Together with a colleague, the scientist co-published the first world map of the ocean floor.

On this day, but in 1998, the Library of Congress named Tharp as one of the best cartographers of the 20th century, Therefore, the most widely used search engine on the Internet decided to make an interactive exploration to publicize the contributions that the scientist made to better understand the history of the Earth.

Marie Thrap discovered that the profiles of the heights had the same pattern (V-shaped cracks) Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

The life and work of the Thrap is narrated by the voices in off of Caitlyn Larsen, Rebecca Nesel and Tiara Moore, Three modern-day women scientists live up to Tharp’s legacy by advancing in the traditionally male-dominated spaces of geology and ocean science.

As pointed out the google doodle explanation, Marie Tharp was born on July 30, 1920. in Ypsilanti, Mich. She was an only child and her father, who worked for the United States Department of Agriculture, gave her an early introduction to cartography.

He attended the University of Michigan to earn his MS in Petroleum Geology, This was particularly impressive given that few women worked in science.

Marie Thrap's contributions allowed us to better understand the history of planet Earth
Marie Thrap’s contributions allowed us to better understand the history of planet EarthLamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

In 1948 he moved to New York City and became a the first woman to work at the Lamont Geological Observatory, where she met geologist Bruce Heezen. At that time, the seas were beginning to be studied by means of a new instrument called sonar, which was used by throwing it into the ocean and, by means of the sound waves that were generated when it bounced, the depth of it was calculated.

Because women on ships were believed to bring bad luck.Thrap’s job depended on the reports that came to him from Heezen. Using her colleague’s data, the academic began to build the height profile of the Atlantic Ocean floor. In addition, to carry out her work, Thrap used mathematics to estimate calculations in places where information was insufficient.

Marie Thrap and Bruce Heezen
Marie Thrap and Bruce HeezenLamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

After analyzing the data, Thrap discovered that the profiles of the heights had the same pattern (V-shaped cracks), so he deduced that there must be a rift that spanned the entire ocean floor. At first his colleagues doubted his discovery, since it was based on a theory that indicated continental drift. Even Heezen dismissed it, so Thrap had to redo his work, to make sure the conclusions were correct.

Even, he compared his conclusions with maps of earthquake epicenters, and there was no longer any doubt. Plate tectonics and continental drift were not theories: the seabed was undoubtedly spreading.

04/18/2022 Painting of the Mid-Oceanic Ridge with the rift axis by Heinrich Berann based on the scientific profiles of Marie Tharp and Bruce Heezen (1977)
04/18/2022 Painting of the Mid-Oceanic Ridge with the rift axis by Heinrich Berann based on the scientific profiles of Marie Tharp and Bruce Heezen (1977)

In 1957, Tharp and Heezen jointly published the first map of the ocean floor in the North Atlantic, and, 20 years later, National Geographic published the first world map of the entire ocean floor written by Tharp and Heezen, titled “The bottom of the world ocean”.

In 1995, Tharp donated his entire map collection to the Library of Congress. and, at the centennial celebration of its Geography and Maps Division, the Library of Congress named her one of the greatest cartographers of the 20th century. In 2001, the same observatory where she began her career awarded her its first annual Lamont-Doherty Heritage Award.

THE NATION

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