Tharp, Marie, 1920–2006, American oceanographer and cartographer, grad. Univ. of Michigan (M.A. 1944). A geologist with experience in mapping, she came to Columbia Univ. as a geology research assistant in 1948, retiring in 1983. Painstakingly converting oceanographic soundings to physiographic maps of the North Atlantic Ocean floor, Tharp, working with Bruce Heezen, identified (1952) the Mid-Atlantic ridge and rift valley when Heezen's group confirmed that seismic activity along the ridge was centered on the rift, it provided solid evidence of seafloor spreading and plate tectonics . Tharp and Heezen's work mapping the oceans ultimately led to the discovery of a 40,000 mi (64,000 km) panoceanic underwater ridge, made visible in their World Ocean Floor map published (1977) by the Office of Naval Research.
See biography by H. Felt (2012).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Geology and Oceanography: Biographies
Browse by Subject
- Earth and the Environment +-
- History +-
- Literature and the Arts +-
- Medicine +-
- People +-
- Philosophy and Religion +-
- Places +-
- Australia and Oceania
- Britain, Ireland, France, and the Low Countries
- Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic Nations
- Germany, Scandinavia, and Central Europe
- Latin America and the Caribbean
- Oceans, Continents, and Polar Regions
- Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and the Balkans
- United States, Canada, and Greenland
- Plants and Animals +-
- Science and Technology +-
- Social Sciences and the Law +-
- Sports and Everyday Life +-