History of marine science

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1.3 History of marine science
• Ancient explorations 5000 B.C. – 800 A.D.
– Egypt- 1st recorded sea voyage (3200 B.C.)
– Phoenicians- 1st trade routes through the
Mediterranean (used stars and didn’t leave sight
of the shore)
• Ancient explorations cont…
– Polynesians- navigated through the open oceans
– Greeks- developed complex maps including
latitude and longitude
• Middle ages (800- 1400 A.D.)
– Scientific discovery suppressed
– Vikings (790- 1100 A.D) – global warming allowed
for exploration/trade routes
• Complex vessel design
– Chinese
• Invented magnet compass (1000 A.D)
• Vessels designed with ventral rudders and watertight
compartments
• European voyages of discovery (1400-1700
A.D.)
– Vasco de Gama (1469-1424 A.D.)- 1st expedition
around Cape of Good Hope to India
– Columbus (1469-1524) – discovered the “new”
world
– Amerigo Vespucci (1454- 1512)- first to recognize
S. America as a new continent
• Balboa (1500s) – first European to sail in the
Pacific
• Magellan (1519)- first to sail around the world,
circumnavigation
• Drake (1577)- Second circumnavigation
Birth of marine science (1700- 1900)
• James Cook
– 1st scientific ocean expeditions
– Invented chronometer in 1735 (clock that works
accurately on the ocean)
• United States Exploring Expedition (Wilkes
expedition)
– Proved existence of Antarctica
– Gathered flora and fauna
• Matthew Maury
– Published “physical geography of the sea”
– Described global wind and current patterns, making
sailing more efficient
• Charles Darwin (1831)
– Studied coral reef growth
– Proposed that seafloor sinks
– Proposed theory of natural selection
• Challenger expedition (1872)
– Mapped the seafloor (discovered Mid-Atlantic
Ridge and Marianas Trench)
– Discovered organisms in deepest parts of the
ocean
– Catalogued 715 new genera and 4,717 new
species
Twentieth Century
• German meteor expedition (1925)
– Established patterns of ocean water circulation
– Mapped the Atlantic sea floor
• Atlantis (1931)
– 1st ship designed exclusively for marine science
– Confirmed the existence of Mid-Atlantic ridge
• Challenger II (1951)
– Measured depths of Atlantic, Pacific, Indian
Oceans
– Found deepest known part of the ocean
(10,838 meters, Marianas Trench)

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