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Discovering The Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and Ocean Crust

Provides a comprehensive, up-to-date view of the oceanic crust, seafloor features, and seafloor volcanism, uniting studies of related phenomena in a single volume
Presents the latest perspectives and unique visual images of regions along the global mid-ocean ridge, providing context to understand diverse features, rock types, vent ecology and chemistry
Contains extraordinary images of the seafloor and representative geological, geochemical and biological features, combined with accompanying online visual and teaching materials to provide a unique resource

By: Jeffrey A Karson (Author), Deborah S Kelley (Author), Danial J Fornari (Author), Michael R Perfit (Author), Timothy M Shank (Author)

414 pages, 506 colour & 24 b/w photos and illustrations, 7 colour tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Apr 2015 | #206475 | ISBN-13: 9780521857185
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £61.99 $76/€70 approx

About this book

The deep oceans and global seafloor are truly Earth's last frontier. They remain largely unexplored, yet are critical to our survival on this planet. This magnificent, full-colour volume transports you to bizarre landscapes hosting exotic life forms that rival the most imaginative science fiction. Starting with a historical summary of seafloor exploration and the developing technologies used to study this extreme environment, it then describes the distinctive geologic components of the Earth's ocean floor and the unusual biological communities found along the mid-ocean ridges. This is an indispensable reference for researchers, teachers, and students of marine science, and a visually stunning resource that will enlighten and intrigue oceanographers and enthusiasts alike. A suite of online resources, including photographs and video clips, combine in Discovering The Deep to provide fascinating insights into the hidden world of seafloor geology and biology using the latest deep-sea imaging and geological concepts.

"Though it's fashionable to say we know little about the mysteries of the deep, this book shows the vast wealth of understanding that pioneering researchers have already gleaned, with their probing sound waves, persistent robots and courageous submariners. This is the book I wish I'd had on my eight deep ocean expeditions, to better understand the wonders I was gazing upon. A must-own for anyone in the ocean sciences, and for those simply curious about what lies down there in the most remote realm on our planet."
– James Cameron, explorer and film-maker

"Discovering the Deep will open your eyes to the largest and most unexplored region on Earth – the global Mid-Ocean Ridge. My own introduction to the Mid-Ocean Ridge began with the famous Expedition to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in 1974, and this beautifully illustrated and comprehensive account shows how far we have come over the last fourty years in our understanding of this fundamental tectonic feature of the Earth and the technology required to investigate it. Not since Bruce Heezen and Charlie Hollister's classic book, The Face of the Deep, first published in 1971, have we seen such a comprehensive photographic atlas of what lies in the hidden depths of the sea."
– Robert D. Ballard, President of the Ocean Exploration Trust

"Discovering the Deep is an exquisite synthesis of the complexity of natural processes, the beauty of oft unseen environments, and the critical scientific discoveries of our recent past. To read this volume is to become an enlightened traveller into the fascinating realm of the seafloor and ocean crust. No student of the natural world should be without this magnificent atlas of our planet's richly structured deep ocean environment."
– Kathryn D. Sullivan, former NASA astronaut, and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator


Preface: new views of Earth from below the oceans

1. Entering the abyss: oceanographic technology
2. The Earth beneath the sea
3. Diversity in seafloor spreading
4. Hydrothermal vents
5. Submarine volcanism: fire beneath the sea
6. Dike intrusion and sheeted dike complexes
7. Gabbroic rocks: clues to magmatic processes
8. Windows into mantle processes: peridotites
9. Future research


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Jeffrey Karson is Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. He investigates the interplay of magmatic construction and mechanical deformation of extensional and transform fault environments from ophiolites, contemporary oceanic crust, Iceland, continental rifts, and continental margins. Professor Karson has participated in numerous field projects and seafloor research cruises worldwide. He is the author or co-author of over 100 publications on seafloor spreading and related phenomena.

Deborah Kelley is a professor in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington and also Associate Director of Science for the first US underwater high-power and -bandwidth cabled observatory, funded by the NSF. She served as the Chair of the Deep Submergence Science Committee for many years. Her research examines the linkages between submarine volcanoes, underwater hot springs and how they support life in the absence of sunlight. Dr Kelley has participated on over 30 blue-water cruises routinely using robotic vehicles, and has been on over 50 Alvin deep-sea submersible dives, to depths of up to 12 000 feet.

Daniel Fornari is a marine geologist and Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). He was the first Chief Scientist of Deep Submergence at WHOI, is the Director of WHOI's Deep Ocean Exploration Institute (DOEI), and was a Chair of Ridge 2000 Program, a NSF-funded national program studying mid-ocean ridges. Dr Fornari has participated in over 100 research cruises and as many dives in deep-sea submersibles. His research focuses on volcanic and hydrothermal processes along the global mid-ocean ridge, using a variety of surface and deep-towed sonar systems, submersibles, ROVs and AUVs.

Michael Perfit is Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Florida, where he has received several awards for excellence in teaching. He has co-authored more than 100 scientific publications on volcanism and magma genesis at oceanic spreading centers and seamounts. Dr Perfit has participated on 30 oceanographic research cruises and taken more than 35 dives in Alvin. He has served as the Chair of the Deep Submergence Science Committee, and is also a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union, and a Trustee of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

Timothy Shank is an Associate Scientist in the Biology Department of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. A Fellow of WHOI's Deep Ocean Exploration Institute, he is internationally recognized for his research to understand the ecological and evolutionary factors that affect the structure and evolution of diverse deep-sea species. Dr Shank has conducted more than 55 scientific expeditions, using a large variety of submersibles, ROV and AUV systems (including more than 50 Alvin dives), and including the first use of a full-ocean depth hybrid ROV (Nereus) in the deepest trenches. He currently serves as the Chief Science Advisor to the NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research Program.

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