Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Legendary Scripps Geologist Receives Drake Medal

29.07.2004


Robert L. Fisher, research geologist emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, has been awarded the inaugural Drake Medal by the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) organization. Fisher received the medal at a reception hosted by the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies on July 7 in Woods Hole, Mass.



The Drake Medal was created specifically to honor Fisher and is a replica of the medal given to Sir Francis Drake by England’s Queen Elizabeth I in 1589 to reward his monumental circumnavigation of the globe during the previous decade, which greatly increased knowledge of world geography.

Fisher’s name has been synonymous with seafloor exploration for half a century. He received the Drake Medal particularly in recognition of his extensive and meticulous work in ocean-bottom cartography over the past six decades. During the course of his career at Scripps, he has made monumental contributions to the scientific knowledge of seafloor trenches and the composition, crustal structure and actual topography underlying the Pacific and Indian oceans. He has organized and led 16 major multiprogram, deep-sea expeditions since receiving his doctorate from Scripps in 1957.


Among Fisher’s many notable accomplishments are his use in the late 1950s of innovative sounding technologies to firmly establish that Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench is the deepest point in the world’s oceans, at 35,810 feet. In 1952 he identified Horizon Deep in the Tonga Trench as the second-deepest point in the oceans and the deepest spot in the Southern Hemisphere. His participation in Scripps expeditions to the Gulf of California in 1959 resulted in a topographic chart that clearly demonstrated the plate tectonics character of that region’s structural development. In 2000, he completed a 40-year bathymetric compilation and topographic interpretation of the greater Indian Ocean, from the northernmost shores to Antarctica.

"Bob Fisher mapped the trenches of the oceans, establishing which ones are the deepest, their structure and how they were created," said John Sclater, professor of geophysics at Scripps and Fisher’s colleague. "What Bob did at Scripps is similar to the achievement of the famous British surveyor, Sir Andrew Waugh, who had the height of all the major Himalayan peaks established by 1856 and who named the highest one Mount Everest. He’s in that league."

A fellow of the Explorer’s Club since 1988, in 2003 Fisher was elected an honorary member, joining the likes of John Glenn and Chuck Yeager. Fisher is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America, and an honorary life member of the United Kingdom’s Challenger Society. In honor of his contributions to marine geology, international colleagues named a huge submarine mountain range south of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean the Bob Fisher Ridge.

GEBCO was established by Prince Albert I of Monaco in 1903—the year that also saw the founding of Scripps Institution of Oceanography—to provide an authoritative, public source of bathymetry (the study of ocean floor depth and contours) data sets of the world’s oceans. GEBCO is operated by the International Hydrographic Organisation and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations.

The Ocean Studies Board was established by the National Research Council to advise the federal government on issues of ocean science, engineering and policy.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht How reliable are shells as climate archives?
21.06.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>