Meet American Geologist Marie Tharp Who Produced The First Map Of the Ocean

Today’s Google Doodle is dedicated to Marie Tharp, the American geologist and oceanographic cartographer who helped in proving the theories of continental drift. Her work got her the title of one of the greatest cartographers of the 20th century.


• Marie Tharp worked at the Lamont Geological Observatory
• She co-produced the first map of the ocean floor with geologist Bruce Heezen

How Is 21 November Related To The Life Of Marie Tharp?

Born on July 30, 1920, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Marie Tharp went on to become the first woman to work at the Lamont Geological Observatory where she did a great job under the supervision of geologist Bruce Heezen. Considering her work and observation, she was named one of the greatest cartographers of the 20th century by the Library of Congress on 21 November 1998.

American Geologist Marie Tharp

Work And Observations Of Marie Tharp

Marie Tharp was introduced to mapmaking by her father who worked for the US Department of Agriculture. A master in petroleum geology from the University of Michigan, Marie Tharp went to work at the Lamont Geology Observatory in 1948.

Marie Tharp produced maps of the mysterious ocean floor using the data gathered by Bruce Heezen. She developed the ocean-depth data of the Atlantic Ocean with echo sounders and took her findings of the Mid-Atlantic Range to Heezen who termed her work as “girl talk”. But Bruce Heezen had to accept the findings on comparing the V-shaped rifts with earthquake epicenter maps.

In 1957, Tharp and Heezen co-published the first map of the ocean floor in the North Atlantic. Later the map was published by National Geographic as “The World Ocean Floor”. She donated her map collection to the Library of Congress in 1995. The Lamont Geological Observatory awarded her with its first annual Lamont-Doherty Heritage Award in 2001.


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