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 Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents
12.12.2017 | Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

nachricht How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas
11.12.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>