UNITED STATES: Celebrating the life of celebrated American geologist and oceanographic cartographer Marie Tharp, Google dedicated a doodle to her on Monday.
Tharp is also credited with developing the first accurate scientific map of the ocean floor in the Atlantic and demonstrating continental drift theories.
In today’s doodle, the explanatory narration is done by three notable women—Caitlyn Larsen, Rebecca Nesel, and Dr. Tiara Moore, who are presently living out her legacy. These women continue to make strides in the male-dominated fields of ocean science and geology spaces.
About Marie Tharp
Marie Tharp was born on July 30, 1920, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, according to the Google doodle page. As the doodle shows, Tharp’s father, who worked for the US Department of Agriculture, introduced her to mapmaking at a young age. She pursued her master’s in petroleum geology at the University of Michigan.
She relocated to New York City in 1948 and was hired at the Lamont Geological Observatory as the first female employee, where she met geologist Bruce Heezen.
Heezen collected information on water depths in the Atlantic Ocean, which Tharp then used to produce maps of the enigmatic ocean floor. She learned about the Mid-Atlantic Ridge thanks to fresh information from echosounders, a type of sonar used to measure sea depth.
She informed Heezen of her results, but he notoriously dismissed them as “girl nonsense.” Heezen was unable to deny the facts, though, when they matched these V-shaped rifts with seismic epicentre maps.
The first map of the North Atlantic ocean floor was released in 1957 by Tharp and Heezen together. Twenty years later, National Geographic released “The World Ocean Floor,” the first map of the whole ocean floor that the two geologists had created. Tharp gave the Library of Congress her entire collection of maps in 1995.
She was recognized as one of the most significant cartographers of the 20th century by the Library of Congress during the 100th-anniversary celebration of its Geography and Map Division.