Scientific Forming Essay

Scientific Forming Essay-63
It is not my intention on this occasion to attempt anything like a general review of the present state of oceanographic science.But, as nearly all the samples of marine deposits collected during the past thirty years have passed through my hands, I shall endeavour briefly to point out what, in general, their detailed examination teaches with respect to the present condition of the floor of the ocean, and I will thereafter indicate what appears to me to be the bearing of some of these results on speculations as to the evolution of the existing surface features of our planet.The soundings over the water-surface of the globe have accumulated at a rapid rate during the past fifty years.

Wireline sounding had been invented by Sir William Thomson, steel cable for dredging operations and other oceanographic purposes had been introduced, and great strides had been made in biological, chemical, geological and physical oceanography. A great many sciences were enriched by a grand accumulation of new facts.

Dominating this new science of the sea was Sir John Murray of the Challenger Expedition. Large collections were sent and brought home, and were subsequently described by specialists belonging to almost every civilised nation.

Our knowledge of the ocean is still very incomplete.

So much has, however, already been acquired that the historian will, in all probability, point to the oceanographical discoveries during the past forty years as the most important addition to the natural knowledge of our planet since the great geographical voyages associated with the names of Columbus, Da Gama, and Magellan, at the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth centuries.

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The areas marked out by the contour-lines of depth are now estimated as follows: -- Between the shore and 100 fms., 7,000,000 sq. Not only are the continental slopes the seat of many deposit-slips and seismic disturbances, but Mr.

Benest has given good reasons for believing that underground rivers sometimes enter the sea at depths beyond 100 fathoms, and there bring about sudden changes in deep water.

I have redrawn the several contour-lines of depth in the great ocean-basins, after careful consideration of the most recent data, and these may now be regarded as a somewhat close approximation to the actual state of matters, with the possible exception of the great Southern and Antarctic Oceans, where there are relatively few soundings, but where the projected Antarctic Expeditions should soon be at work. It is interesting to note that the area within the 100-fathom line occupies 7,000,000 square geographical miles, whereas the area occupied by the next succeeding 900 fathoms (viz., between 1 fathoms) occupies only 10,000,000 square geographical miles.

On the whole it may be said that the general tendency of recent soundings is to extend the area with depths greater than 1000 fathoms and to show that numerous volcanic cones rise from the general level of the floor of the ocean-basins up to various levels beneath the sea-surface. (or 7% of the sea-bed) ” 100 ” 1000 ” 10,000,000 ” ” (or 10% ” ” ) ” 1000 ” 2000 ” 22,000,000 ” ” (or 21% ” ” ) ” 2000 ” 3000 ” 57,000,000 ” ” (or 55% ” ” ) Over 3000 fathoms 7,000,000 ” ” (or 7% ” ” ) 103,000,000 sq. This points to a relatively rapid descent of the sea-floor along the continental slopes between 1 fathoms, and therefore confirms the results gained by actual soundings in this region, many of which indicate steep inclines or even perpendicular cliffs.


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