History of Oceanography: Dive Right In!

By bswain
  • 150


    Ptolemy compiled a map of the Roman World that included longitude and latitude.
  • 325

    Pytheas (B.C.)

    Pytheas (B.C.)
    Pytheas, a greek geographer and explorer, made one of the first voyages from the Mediterranean to England, and then proceeded north to Scotland, Germany and Norway. Through these voyages he developed the the connection between the tides and the phase of the moon, and a way to determine latitude from the positioning of the North Star.
  • Oct 9, 1002

    Leif Erikson (975-1020)

    Leif Erikson (975-1020)
    On Oct. 9, 1002, Leif Erikson landed on what is now North America, and was the first Euporean to do so. However, his travels were never documented, and there is little physical evidence. Historians say that Erikson was going from west Norway to Iceland but the wind blew his ship of track and he crashed into North America.
  • Aug 3, 1492

    Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) Sails the Ocean Blue

    Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) Sails the Ocean Blue
    The King and Queen of Spain financed Columbus' voyage, granting him command of three ships: the Pinta, the Nina, and the Santa Maria. Christopher Columbus departed mainland Spain on August 3, 1492 with plans of finding a better route to Eastern Asia. However, he landed on West Indian Islands.
  • Feb 23, 1513

    Juan Ponce de Leon (1474-1521)

    Juan Ponce de Leon (1474-1521)
    Leon led the first European expedition to Florida, which he named, and founded the Florida current.
  • Sep 13, 1513

    Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1475-1519)

    Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1475-1519)
    Nunez was the first European to see and stand in the waters of the eastern shore off the Pacific Ocean. He accomplished this by crossing the Isthmus of Panama. His feat allowed Spanish exploration and conquest, because he claimed the Pacific Ocean and all of its shores for Spain.
  • Feb 23, 1519

    First circumnavigation

    First circumnavigation
    Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521) led the first expedition that sailed around the Earth (1519-1522). Magellan also named the Pacific Ocean.
  • Jan 1, 1577

    Francis Drake (1540-1596)

    Francis Drake (1540-1596)
    Drake completed the second circumnavigation (1577-1580) and explored the western coast of North America.
  • John Harrison (1693-1776)

    John Harrison (1693-1776)
    Harrison created the marine chronometer, used to find longitude of ship at sea, and, in a time where there was a lot of sailing, this tool made long distance travel safer. This came at the perfect time, with there being an increase in colonization there was also demand for better navigation devices.
  • Captain James Cook (1728-1779)

    Captain James Cook (1728-1779)
    Cook was the first to document many coastlines and islands on European maps. He commanded three major ocean voyages which gathered extensive data on tides, currents, geography, geology, biota and water temperatures of all the major oceans. He was also the first to take soundings,
  • Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

    Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
    Franklin contributed greatly to oceanography by compiling detailed observations of ocean currents off the US east coast. He also charted the gulf stream, which showed sailors where the trade winds were, allowing for them to find the fastest routes.
  • Lieutenant Matthew F. Maury (1806-1873)

    Lieutenant Matthew F. Maury (1806-1873)
    Maury created the first atlas. He compiled and standardized current and wind data recorded in U.S. Navy ship logs and published it in his book "Physical Geography of the Sea". It showed sea conditions and directions, and made sailing safer. It is oonsidered first oceanography textbook.
  • Challenger Expedition (1872-1976)

    Challenger Expedition (1872-1976)
    The Challenger expedition sailed from Portsmouth, England, on 21 December 1872. It traveled nearly 130,000 km for about 3.5 years. It made very important discoveries that layed the foundation of oceanography, such as the discovery of over 4,500 previously unknown species, measurements of ocean depths of 361 locations, and further research of deep water currents.
  • Fridjof Nansen and the Fram

    Fridjof Nansen and the Fram
    Fridtjof Nansen led a voyage on the Fram to the Artic to test his theories about surface circulation of the Artic waters. The Fram, built to measure ice currents and stand extreme ice pressure, was frozen into the polar ice for 35 months. Measurements of water depth, temperature, and chemistry, and weather conditions were taken during this time. This yielded proof that the artic was not as shallow as once assumed, and the circulation pattern of the Artic Ocean.
  • International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES)

    International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES)
    Russia, Great Britain, Germany, Holland, and the Scandinavian countries formed the ICES to coordinate and promote research on oceanography, the marine enviornment and ecosystem, and living marine resources in the North Atlantic. The ICES community includes all coastal states bordering the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, and has a network of over 1600 scientists from 200 institutes.
  • Bathysphere Created

    Bathysphere Created
    The Bathysphere was created by Otis Barton, and is a deep-sea submersible designed for studying deep-sea wildlife. In use, it is lowered into the ocean on a cable.
  • Deep-sea Drilling Project

    Deep-sea Drilling Project
    The Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) operated from 1968 to 1983 by Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UC San Diego. The Glomar Challenger, made specifically for drilling into and taking core samples from the deep ocean floor, was launched from Orange, Texas on March 23, 1968,The program was considered to be successful because the data recieved provided support for the hypothesis of seafloor spreading and plate tectonics. This was the beginning of deep-sea drilling for natural resources.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    This international scientific agency monitors weather on a global scale, and, through the use of satellites, the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere.
  • U.S. Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS)

    U.S. Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS)
    The United States Joint Global Ocean Flux Study was created in 1989 with the goal to study the ocean carbon cycle. JGOFS is used to track the relationship between ocean plant production and solar radiation, and too understand the controls on the concentrations and fluxes of carbon and associated nutrients in the ocean.
  • TOPEX/Poseidon

    NASA and CNES (the French Space agency) jointly launched this satellite to map ocean surface topography and determine the patterns of ocean circulation. It measures various things with impressive accuracy.
  • First Recorded Sea Voyage (B.C.)

    First Recorded Sea Voyage (B.C.)
    Egyptian Pharaoh Snefru led the first recorded sea voyage.from Egypt to southern edge of Arabian Peninsula and Red Sea.