Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 2000 - Nature - 345 pages
The sea covers seven-tenths of the Earth, but we have mapped only a small percentage of it. The sea contains millions of species of animals and plants, but we have identified only a few thousand of them. The sea controls our planet's climate, but we do not really understand how. The sea is still the frontier, and yet it seems so familiar that we sometimes forget how little we know about it. Just as we are poised on the verge of exploiting the sea on an unprecedented scale—mining it, fertilizing it, fishing it out—this book reminds us of how much we have yet to learn. More than that, it chronicles the knowledge explosion that has transformed our view of the sea in just the past few decades, and made it a far more interesting and accessible place. From the Big Bang to that far-off future time, two billion years from now, when our planet will be a waterless rock; from the lush crowds of life at seafloor hot springs to the invisible, jewel-like plants that float at the sea surface; from the restless shifting of the tectonic plates to the majestic sweep of the ocean currents, Kunzig's clear and lyrical prose transports us to the ends of the Earth.

Originally published in hardcover as The Restless Sea. "Robert Kunzig is a creator of what oceanographer Harry Hess once referred to as 'geopoetry.' He covers vast tracts of time and space and makes his subjects electrifying."—Richard Ellis, The Times [London] "The Restless Sea immediately surfaces at the top of the list of journalistic treatments of oceanography. . . .The book opened my eyes to numerous wonders."—Richard Strickland, American Scientist "When you head for the coast this summer, leave that trashy beach novel at home. Instead, pack Robert Kunzig's book. Because just beyond your rental cottage lies the restless sea, where three-mile-tall mountain ranges criss-cross the ocean floor, and deep trenches harbor mysterious creatures. . . . The book is easy to read, and will bring you up to date on the startling discoveries oceanographers have made during the past few decades."—Phillip Manning, The News and Observer [Raleigh, North Carolina] ] "Anyone who loves the sea should read this book."—Sebastian Junger
 

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Contents

Space and the Ocean
10
Sounding the Depths
28
The Rift in the Atlantic
43
A Map of the World
56
The Seafloor at Birth
70
Kingdom of the Holothurians
86
Islands in the Deep
108
Life on a Volcano
131
Greening the Ocean
200
Twilight of the Cod
235
Where the Water Goes
268
The Climate Switch
293
Time and the Ocean
320
Selected References
326
Picture Credits
332
Acknowledgments
333

Fantastic Glistening Jellies
164
Animal Lights
187

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About the author (2000)

Robert Kunzig is European editor of Discover magazine, based in Dijon, France. His writing about the ocean has won the AAAS-Westinghouse Science Journalism Award and the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism.

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