IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research


Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Early development of ocean-bottom photography at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Lamont Geological Observatory
Ewing, M.; Worzel, J.L.; Vine, A.C. (1967). Early development of ocean-bottom photography at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Lamont Geological Observatory, in: Hersey, J.B. (Ed.) Deep-sea photography. pp. 13-41
In: Hersey, J.B. (Ed.) (1967). Deep-sea photography. The John Hopkins Oceanographic Studies, 3. The John Hopkins Press: Baltimore. 310 pp., more
In: The John Hopkins Oceanographic Studies. ISSN 0271-2229, more

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Technology [11038]


Authors  Top 
  • Ewing, M.
  • Worzel, J.L.
  • Vine, A.C.

    This chapter traces the development of deep-sea photography from its beginning, in 1939, up to the end of 1948 when the camera had finally proved itself an important tool for the study of the structure and life of the sea floor. Despite initial obstacles, namely lack of enthusiasm from other oceanographers, and difficulty in obtaining financial support, the authors in 1939 and 1940 constructed the first free-floating, remotely triggered underwater cameras. High quality photographs of the sea floor were obtained at depths up to 150 fm (270 m), and possibilities for the use of photography in studies of geology, light scattering, and ocean currents were opening when World War II intervened. The war stimulated the progress of the photographic work, but in changed directions. Special techniques were developed for locating mines and identifying wrecks. These included the use of underwater television, location and manipulation by sonar, and provision for taking a large number of exposures on a single lowering. Color and stereo photography were used successfully but were found to have no special value in this work. These wartime services proved the usefulness of underwater cameras, particularly in their ability to photograph selected targets. When the war was over efforts were concentrated on the study of the ocean bottorn and cameras were developed for photographing submarine canyons, continental slopes, and basin floors. Successful surveys were carried out on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, on the continental slope off New England, and in the Mediterranean Sea, and excellent photographs were obtained to a depth of 3,026 fm (5,534 m). This pioneering work provided the basis for the extensive developments, improvements, and range of applications of deep-sea photography that are described in the following chapters of this book.

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors