Cambridge radio sonobuoys and the seismic structure of oceanic crust

Mason, M and White, R. S. (2019) Cambridge radio sonobuoys and the seismic structure of oceanic crust. Notes and Records, The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science, 74 (1). pp. 55-72. ISSN 0035-9149 1743-0178 DOI dooi:10.1098/rsnr.2018.0061

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsnr.2018.0061

Abstract

The Cambridge University Department of Geodesy and Geophysics pioneered the development of radio sonobuoys which could be used from a single ship to study the structure of the submarine crust. By contrast, contemporaneous marine seismic research, mainly in the USA, used more expensive techniques requiring the use of two ships. For nearly three decades from the early 1950s several generations of Cambridge sonobuoys were used as the primary tool to study the structure of the oceanic crust and the adjacent continental margins by seismic refraction methods, until superseded by ocean-bottom seismographs. An early result was to confirm the ubiquity across the world of relatively thin (compared with continental crust), probably volcanic, oceanic crust. This in turn underpinned the subsequent recognition of seafloor spreading and plate tectonics.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2018AREP; IA74
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
99 - Other
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
99 - Other
Journal or Publication Title: Notes and Records, The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Volume: 74
Page Range: pp. 55-72
Identification Number: dooi:10.1098/rsnr.2018.0061
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2019 22:12
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2020 14:43
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4374

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