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The Northern Barrage

The Northern Barrage

Historically, perhaps the naval discipline most related to the work and skills of the hydrographer is naval mine warfare. Successful implementation requires knowledge of the config...

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A Casualty of War

A Casualty of War

In 1899, a new ship was launched at the Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey, USA. This vessel was a Coast and Geodetic Survey ship designed and constructed for rugged se...

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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

Bilby Towers

Bilby Towers

The great classical continent-spanning geodetic networks of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries had two major obstacles to overcome – distance and the curvature of the Ear...

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An Early Search for Vigias

An Early Search for Vigias

In the era before the global positioning system and other reliable navigation aids, many imaginary and sometimes real features whose positions were grossly in error were found on c...

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The Banana Belt – Southern Alaska

The Banana Belt – Southern Alaska

As opposed to the Alaskan Arctic, portions of Southern Alaska are relatively balmy, with average annual temperatures approximately 28 degrees Celsius higher than on Alaska’s...

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As it Was

As it Was

In 1955 exploitable areas of ironwood were discovered near the North West River, in the south of former Netherlands New Guinea. Transport by coastal vessel became a problem when th...

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The Arctic Field Party

The Arctic Field Party

It seems ironic that in the early stages of the Cold War, the United States Government sent surveyors and hydrographic engineers to the coldest reaches of the North American contin...

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'As it ­Was

'As it ­Was

Claudios Ptolemaios (to use the Greek version of his name), the greatest geographer of ancient times and the father of our geography, was a scholar who lived in Alexandria, Egypt....

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Pathfinder

Pathfinder

In the Second World War, the Pacific was poorly charted, and the Navy would require the services of a cadre of hydrographers to rapidly survey areas of tactical and strategic inter...

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History Selection

The Myth of the Telegraphic Plateau

The Myth of the Telegraphic Plateau

In the mid-nineteenth century the great hydrographic myth of a Telegraphic Plateau located in the North Atlantic Ocean was born. The origin of this myth began with the cruise of th...

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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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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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As it Was

As it Was

In 1953 there appeared, amid a welter of underwater explosions, around the northern end of Das Island in the Persian Gulf a converted WWII surplus LCI(L) looking like some form of...

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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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World War II Charting: The Pacific War

World War II Charting: The Pacific War

In late November 1941, the USS Sumner (AG-32) proceeded to Pearl Harbor and joined the United States Pacific Fleet. This ship had begun its career as the USS Bushnell, a subma...

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By the Old Hydrographer

By the Old Hydrographer

A number of largely British settlements had been established in New Zealand by the early 1840s,where natural harbours had been found. The general Admiralty chart of New Zealand, pu...

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'As it Was'

'As it Was'

In 2004 the Royal Netherlands Navy for the third time in 75 years named one of two newly constructed hydrographic survey ships <i>Snellius</i>. Willebrord Snel van Roye...

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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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History Selection

‘As it Was’

‘As it Was’

In the summer of 1943, when planning the landing in Normandy, it was found that the best available charts showing offshore depths were based on surveys dated 1875. It was thus esse...

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A Note on Fifty Years of Multi-beam

A Note on Fifty Years of Multi-beam

The year 2013 marks the Fiftieth Anniversary of the first installation of a multi-beam sonar sounding system. A review of the early development of multi-beam sonar systems fol...

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The Making of an Earth Measurer

The Making of an Earth Measurer

In the April 2009 issue of Hydrointernational, Carl Aslakson was mentioned as having devised a method of determining the velocity of light by using Shoran (short-range navigation)....

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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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Alaska – The Wild Coast

Alaska – The Wild Coast

At the turn of the century, the West Coast fleet of the Coast and Geodetic Survey was comprised of a mélange of ships, some of which were not retired until they were nearly...

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'As it Was'

'As it Was'

Matthew Fontaine Maury is probably the best known of all hydrographers, and the most celebrated both in his homeland, the United States of America, and in Europe. He served for 18...

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'As it Was'

'As it Was'

The late Professor Taylor, a former Registrar General for Scotland, whilst researching the Balfour Collection of documents at the National Library of Scotland, came across a set of...

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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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Large of Spirit

Large of Spirit

Sprinkled throughout the world’s oceans are thousands of named seafloor features. Many of the major features have received names that associate them with some other geographi...

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