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History of Ocean Exploration and Marine Sciences


Ancient Uses and Explorations. Prehistory and the Rise of Seafaring. History doesn t record who the first people were to explore the oceans, nor when. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: History of Ocean Exploration and Marine Sciences

History of Ocean Explorationand Marine Sciences
  • Chapter 2

39 slides
Ancient Uses and Explorations
Prehistory and the Rise of Seafaring History
doesnt record who the first people were to
explore the oceans, nor when. But archaeologists
date Native American primitive fishhooks and
spears to 5000 B.C. When was the first sea
voyage in a ship? No one knows although several
cultures have similar stories of a worldwide
flood and a large boat full of animals, the
existence of the Ark (4000 B.C.) is widely
debated. Therefore, the earliest recorded sea
voyage seems to have taken place around 3200 B.C.
by the Egyptians. At this time, the north star
was not Polaris but Thuban.
Ancient Phoenician Explorations and Discoveries
Phoenicia was an ancient civilization centered
in the north of ancient Canaan, with its
heartland along the coast of modern day Lebanon,
Syria and northern Israel. Phoenician
civilization was an enterprising maritime trading
culture that spread across the Mediterranean
during the first millennium BC, between the
period of 1200 BC to 900 BC.
Ancient Phoenician Explorations and Discoveries
Ancient Phoenician Explorations and Discoveries
The ancient Phoenicians were among the most
important early Western seafarers. Traveled
great distances for their day. Established the
first trade routes throughout the Mediterranean
and as far north as Great Britain. They steered
at night by observing the constellations and the
north star (Polaris, 430 l.y.a.) in the ancient
world, the north star was called the Phoenician
Star. This is one of the earliest references to
using the North Star for navigation.
Ancient Polynesian Explorations and Discoveries
The significance of Polynesian seafaring is that
it is the earliest known regular, long distance,
open ocean seafaring beyond sight of land. Its
estimated that it took more than 1000 years for
the area to be fully settled. But had been so
for hundreds of years when the first Europeans
Ancient Greek Explorations and Discoveries
It was primarily the ancient Greeks who first
used mathematical principles and sophisticated
maps for seafaring. By applying their
advancements in early science and mathematics,
this culture contributed to understanding the
oceans in many ways. Although western
civilization would lose the knowledge during
the Middle Ages, the Greeks knew that the world
was a sphere and not flat.
Ancient Greek Explorations and Discoveries
The Greek Pytheas noted that he could predict
the tides in the Atlantic based on the phases of
the moon. About 150 years later, Eratosthenes
(264-194 B.C.) calculated the Earths
circumference and invented the first
lattitude/longitude system a system of
imaginary lines on the Earth, used for navigation
and mapping. Hipparchus invented a better
system the one used today later.
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Ancient Greek Explorations and Discoveries Evolut
ion of ancient maps of the known world
The Latitude/Longitude System
One of the Greeks primary contributions to
oceanography and seafaring is the
latitude/longitude system. Latitude lines run
east-west and longitude lines run
north-south. Because they run around the sphere
of the Earth, they are numbered in degrees. For
further accuracy, degrees are numbered into 60
minutes and minutes into 60 seconds like time.
Latitude Lines
Longitude Lines
Prime Meridian and Equator
Longitude lines begin at one pole and end at the
other. Sometimes called meridians, the 0
meridian runs through the Royal Naval Observatory
in Greenwich, England. This is called the
Prime Meridian. Directly on the other side of
the world is the 180 meridian. If you are
looking north, the meridians on the right of the
prime meridian are called east longitude all the
way to the 180 meridian.
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Lets apply what we just learned to find the
wreck of the Titanic!!! 49 56 49 W, 41
43 57 N
Did you navigate correctly?
49 56 49 W, 41 43 57 N
The European Middle Ages
The period of about 500 A.D. to 1500 in Europe is
called the Middle Ages (Also known as the dark
ages because Europe entered an age of
intellectual darkness.) This was the period
that we think of when we think of knights,
castles, and feudalism. Except for the Viking
Voyages, there was little ocean exploration by
Europeans during this period.
Middle Ages map of the know world based on
descriptions in the bible.
Viking Explorations and Discoveries
The Viking period stretches from about 790 A.D.
to 1100. During this period Vikings raided
nearby land, explored, and established trade
routes throughout Britain, Ireland, Southern
Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia. This was the
only significant exploration taking place in
Europe during this period.
Chinese Explorations and Discoveries
Although science and exploration lay idle in
Europe during the Middle Ages, that wasnt the
case in China. Among many important
contributions in that era, the Chinese were
responsible for inventing the magnetic
compass. Shipbuilding central rudders and
watertight compartments.
End of the Middle Ages and a Route Around Africa
The Renaissance (1400 A.D.) marked the end of
the Middle Ages in Europe. With it came new
interest in exploration and science.
Exploration of the New World
In 1492, Portuguese Christopher Columbus set out
on the first of his four famous voyages. As
others..the purpose was to find a route to Asia
and the East Indies. Because he was using
Ptolemys estimation of the Earths size (which
was too small) He thought hed reach Asia when he
landed on a Caribbean Island.
Vasco da Gamas Journey to India
Magellans and Drakes around the world voyage of
The Birth of Marine Science (1700-1900)
As Britain began to compete with France and Spain
for Global conquest, they realized that the more
they knew about the seas and the world, the
better. The Royal Navy launched voyages with the
objectives of exploration, mapping, and
projecting British presence around the
world. The crew often included scientists and
Cooks Expeditions
The Voyages of Captain James Cook largely
received credit as the first expeditions devoted
to scientific oceanography. A major contribution
to Cooks voyages was the invention of the
chronometer clock or watch that wasnt affected
by the waves and motion of the sea. One of his
major missions was to map the path of Venus
between the Earth and the Sun in order to
calculate the distance between the Earth and the
Sun. Although he never found Antarctica, he did
find the Hawaii islands that was his downfall.
He was considered an oceanographer,
anthropologist and naturalist.
Cooks Expeditions
Darwin and the HMS Beagle
In addition to his work in the Galapagos and the
rest of his five year voyage aboard the Beagle
that we learned about in biology Darwin also
contributed to modern day marine science. Darwin
hypothesized that the massive coral reefs they
saw could only result when the seafloor slowly
sinks. This is accepted by most scientist today.
United States Exploring Expedition
One of the most important scientific expeditions
launched by the US was the US Exploring
Expedition also referred to as the Wilkes
Expedition after its commander, Charles
Wilkes. In addition to surveying many parts of
North and South America, This expedition found
the elusive southern continent
Antarctica. Approximately during the same time,
US Naval officer Mathew Maury who was among the
first to envision a worldwide pattern for surface
winds and currents produced instructions for
making long distance sailing more efficient by
working with the prevailing currents and
winds. Also, his systems for recording
oceanographic data from vessels was adopted
The Challenger Expedition
Recognized as the only expedition to date that
was solely devoted to marine science. The
deepest place on Earth is the Challenger Deep
(35,798 ft.) in the Marianas Trench named after
the expeditions that discovered it. Mt. Everest
the highest point on Earth is 29,035 ft. tall
by comparison. Challengers contributions to
oceanography and marine science were great. From
over 4,700 new species to new habitats not
previously thought to hold life. NASA named one
of its orbiters in its honor.
The Challenger Expedition
Challenger Deep
The Challenger Space Orbiter
Later in the 20th century NASA named its Apollo
11 lunar module and its 2nd space orbiter 1983
(Challenger) after this vessel. Challenger
the orbiter exploded 73 seconds into launch on
January 28th, 1986. It carried aboard what was
supposed to be the first teacher in space, Sharon
Christa Corrigan McAuliffe. The alternate
teacher chosen, Barbara Morgan, completed that
mission recently on August 7th, 2007 aboard
shuttle Endeavour (21 years later)
Space Orbiter Challenger (1983-1986)
The Oceanography Explosion
Too many to list, the great increase in the
exploration of oceanography and marine science in
general stemmed in large part from the industrial
revolution with the evolution of scientific and
technological advancements. Three expeditions
stand out though
The German Meteor Expedition, Atlantis, and the
HMS Challenger II
One of the first modern research cruises, the
Meteors main accomplishment was the mapping of
the Atlantic seafloor with echo-sounding
technology. In 1931, the US launched the
Atlantis. The significance of the Atlantis is
that she was the first ship specifically designed
and built for ocean studies. In 1951, the HMS
Challenger II began a two year voyage to measure
the depths of the ocean. Its greatest discovery
was the deepest known point on Earth located at
the Marianas Trench discovered by the 1st
Challenger. The deepest spot was named
Challenger deep after the 1st vessel.
Atlantis the Space Orbiter
NASA honored the Atlantis expeditions by naming
its 4th shuttle after it. Atlantis the space
orbiter first flew in 1985 and is still in
service today.
Other Space Orbiters Were Also Named in Honor of
Historical Expedition of Our Oceans.
Columbia Apollo 11 moon lander American Ocean
vessel sent to circle the globe. Discovery
Henry Hudson Explored the Hudson Bay for the
Northwest passage from Atlantic to
Pacific. Endeavour (replacement for Challenger)
named in honor of Captain James Cooks vessel.
The shuttle fleet will be retired in 2010 to make
way for the next generation of space exploration
Extra Information About the Shuttle Fleet
1st shuttle built Enterprise, originally named
Constitution. Never flew in space but, was used
to test the gliding landings. 1st Shuttle in
space Columbia 1981. Heaviest of the fleet.
Destroyed on re-entry (February 1st, 2003) due to
heat shield damage from foam that hit wing on
launch. 2nd Shuttle in space Challenger 1983.
Lost 73 seconds into launch due to rocket booster
failure on January 28th, 1986. 3rd Shuttle in
space Discovery 1984. Still in service. 4th
Shuttle in space Atlantis 1985. Still in
service. 5th and last shuttle to be built
Endeavour 1992. Still in service.
The End
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