Marie Tharp: Google Doodle celebrates life of American geologist Marie Tharp with creative doodle | World News


NEW DELHI: The Doodle for today honours Marie Tharp, an American geologist and oceanographic cartographer who contributed to the validation of continental drift hypothesis. She contributed to the first ocean bottom map of the planet.
The Library of Congress recognised Tharp as one of the 20th century’s top cartographers on this day in 1998.
The Google Doodle for today includes an interactive biography of Tharp.
Three prominent women who are actively carrying on Tharp’s legacy by making advancements in the typically male-dominated fields of ocean science and geology provide narration for her story: Caitlyn Larsen, Rebecca Nesel, and Dr. Tiara Moore.
On July 30, 1920, Marie Tharp, an only child, was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Mapmaking was introduced to Tharp by her father, who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
She pursued a master’s degree in petroleum geology at the University of Michigan, which was especially notable given the dearth of women in science careers at the time.
She relocated to New York City in 1948 and was the first female employee at the Lamont Geological Observatory, where she met geologist Bruce Heezen.
As per Google, Heezen gathered ocean-depth data in the Atlantic Ocean, which Tharp used to create maps of the mysterious ocean floor. New findings from echo sounders (sonars used to find water depth) helped her discover the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. She brought these findings to Heezen, who infamously dismissed this as “girl talk”.
However, when they compared these V-shaped rifts with earthquake epicenter maps, Heezen could not ignore the facts. Plate tectonics and continental drift were no longer just theories—the seafloor was undoubtedly spreading. In 1957, Tharp and Heezen co-published the first map of the ocean floor in the North Atlantic. Twenty years later, National Geographic published the first world map of the entire ocean floor penned by Tharp and Heezen, titled “The World Ocean Floor.”
Tharp donated her entire map collection to the Library of Congress in 1995. On the 100th anniversary celebration of its Geography and Map Division, the Library of Congress named her one of the most important cartographers in the 20th century. In 2001, the same observatory where she started her career awarded her with its first annual Lamont-Doherty Heritage Award.





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