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Mountains in the Sea

Mountains in the Sea

It is hardly possible to discuss the configuration of the deep ocean bed without eventually using the term ‘seamount’. Today, the existence of tens of thousands if...

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Unravelling the Ridge and Rift

Unravelling the Ridge and Rift

Following Maurice Ewing’s first cruise to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, two more were made by the end of the 1940s. The first of these was led by Ewing while the second was led by...

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The Siboga Expedition

The Siboga Expedition

The Indonesian archipelago is one of the world’s most beautiful archipelagos. Home to over 17,000 islands, mountains rising to over 5,000 metres, including over 70 historical...

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History Selection

The Battle of Port Royal Sound

The Battle of Port Royal Sound

At the beginning of the American Civil War, the temporary dissolution of the United States Coast Survey was considered by Congress as a cost-saving measure. In response to this pos...

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The Drifters

The Drifters

“Although the Currents of the Ocean form a most important part of hydrography, yet it is only since the introduction of chronometers, and of celestial observations for the lo...

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The Bering Sea Survey

The Bering Sea Survey

1939 marked the beginning of a concerted programme to chart the Bering Sea area. The surveys in this area that were conducted prior to United States entry into the Second World War...

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Survey Vessel Acadia

Survey Vessel Acadia

On July 5th 2003 the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, the Canadian Hydrographic Service and former officers, staff and crew of the CSS Acadia, gathered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to...

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As it Was

As it Was

That Dieppe was a major centre of hydrographic progress in the 16th Century was recently chronicled in this Column (see Hydro international 2002 Vol. 6 No. 2). David Ross, a Scot,...

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Life and Death of a Survey Ship

Life and Death of a Survey Ship

Great ships seem to develop a personality and sometimes even seem to be conscious beings with a life of their own. Such was the Coast and Geodetic Survey Steamer Carlile P. Patters...

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History Selection

'As it Was'

'As it Was'

Until the abolition of the Indian Navy in 1862 surveys of Indian and eastern waters were carried out by officers of the Bombay Marine and later by the Indian Navy. At first these s...

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The Dutch Way of Measuring Depths

The Dutch Way of Measuring Depths

Once upon a time there was no satnav, multibeam sonar or a computer to handle a survey system. Hydrographic surveying was done ‘by hand’ with instruments long forgotten...

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As it Was

As it Was

James Cook in the Endeavour circumnavigated New Zealand in 1769-1770 and the coastline was surveyed. Thus the coastline appeared complete on the world map. The coast is rugged and...

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System Without Fixed Points

System Without Fixed Points

Radio-acoustic-ranging (RAR) navigation, developed within the US Coast and Geodetic Survey (C&GS), was the very first survey-quality navigation system that did not need to see...

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'As it Was'

'As it Was'

In 1958 Commander Hunt MBE, RN was about to undertake a survey in HMNZS <i>Lachlan</i> to complete NZ Chart 61, which included part of the rugged West Coast of the Sout...

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The Titanic disaster and its aftermath

The Titanic disaster and its aftermath

In the night of 14 April 1912, the unthinkable happened. The mightiest ship afloat, the brand new White Star Line ship Titanic, was on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England,...

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As it Was

As it Was

On 2 November 1902 the Antarctic research ship, Scotia, sailed quietly down the lower Clyde from its berth in the yards of the Ailsa Shipbuilding Co., on its way to Antarctica. The...

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As it Was

As it Was

I was in command of the British surveying ship HMS Challenger in 1951 during a world voyage, with geophysicists Tom Gaskell and John Swallow onboard, to measure by seismic methods...

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History Selection

Getting to California

Getting to California

During the California Gold Rush, many people from around the world left everything behind - including their jobs - to seek their fortune in California. A copy of one of the more in...

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Locating Cagayan Sulu

Locating Cagayan Sulu

A glance at a map of the Philippine Islands shows that the Sulu Sea is nearly an enclosed body of water: the Sulu Archipelago on the southeast; Palawan to the northwest; the main b...

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As it Was

As it Was

Over a period of 30 years, from 1867 onwards, the Norwegian Hydrographic Service made an epic and complete hydrographic survey of the Norwegian continental shelf. For the first tim...

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CPS-98: An Odd Geodetic Survey Crew

CPS-98: An Odd Geodetic Survey Crew

The following paragraph is found on page 9 of the official history of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in World War II: “To provide the additional staff needed, an...

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The Longest Line

The Longest Line

Mt. Shasta is a huge stratovolcano near the southern end of the Cascade Mountains of western North America. It rises to an elevation of 14,179 feet above sea level and is at the no...

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Introducing Capt. Skip Theberge

Introducing Capt. Skip Theberge

Although this is my second effort at contributing to the History column, I would like to use this issue’s column to introduce myself to the readership of Hydrointernational....

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What’s in a Name? Part 2 - Vidal

What’s in a Name? Part 2 - Vidal

Part 1 dealt with HMS Owen and the redoubtable nineteenth century hydrographer and explorer after whom she had been named. That Summer of 1953 the second of the two British surveyi...

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