Comment: 09:59 - 11:06 (01:07)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 5. The Birth of a Theory
Keywords: "Harry H. Hess", technology, fathometer, depth, Princeton, topography, "sea floor", guyot, "wave erosion", "mid-oceanic ridge"
Our transcription: This new technology developed for World War II included the fathometer, an echo sounding device that instantly measured depths to the sea floor enabling troop ships to move into shallow water.
Once transport commander, Harry Hess, made a habit of running his ship's fathometer continually.
A geologist and Princeton Professor in civilian life, Hess wanted to learn more about the topography of the sea floor.
He soon discovered that the ocean floor was not level as expected but was instead dotted with flat topped mountains, which he named "guyots."
Hess was perplexed by how these mountains formed.
Their flat summits could seemingly be explained by wave erosion, but why, then, did the guyots lie so deep underwater?
Hess thought he saw a clue to this mystery when he observed that the deepest guyots lay farthest from the mid-ocean ridge system.
Geology School Keywords