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1977 Heezen and Tharp Bathymetric Map of the World

The Floor of the Oceans. - Main View

1977 Heezen and Tharp Bathymetric Map of the World


A modern geological triumph!


The Floor of the Oceans.
  1977 (dated)     26 x 40.5 in (66.04 x 102.87 cm)     1 : 48000000


A visually striking and scientifically significant 1977 Marie Tharp and Bruce C. Heezen physiographic map of the world detailing the oceans' floors. The map offers a striking axonometric view of the terrain throughout, with the focus being the seabed. A revolutionary work, it combines genuine scientific work of interpreting and compiling thousands of sonar images, with the exceptional artistry of Tanguy de Rémur.
This map represents the culmination of more than 30 years of collaboration between Tharp and Heezen. Their joint efforts, largely led by Tharp, focused on a meticulous sonar mapping of the ocean's floors. The present map is the fourth and final in their series - the others, published between 1957 and 1964, are more regional. In aggregation their work led to the discovery of the Mid-Atlantic Rift, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and redefined both submarine geology and our understanding of plate tectonics. Moreover, Tharp's work was pioneering in elevating the role of women in the sciences.
Publication History and Census
This map was published in Paris, France, by Éditions Pierre Charon and printed by Draeger. It is based upon research completed by Bruce C. Heezen and Marie Tharp of the Geological Department at Columbia University. It is one of four maps in a series. It is well represented in institutions, but few examples have found their way to the private market.


Marie Tharp (July 30, 1920 - August 23, 2006) was a prominent American oceanographic cartographer and geologist - recognized as a pioneer in the male-dominated world of geology. Tharp was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She was introduced to mapmaking through her father, who was a surveyor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She studied at the University of Ohio, earning Music and English degrees. During World War II, she earned a Masters in Geology at the University of Michigan, graduating in 1944, and later a second bachelor's in mathematics (1948). She first worked as a research assistant at Lamont Geological Laboratory in Columbia University in New York. Tharp was Bruce Charles Heezen's (1924 - 1977) assistant while he was a graduate student, and he gave her the task of drafting seafloor profiles. Her discoveries of the Mid-Atlantic Rift and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, while initially dismissed because of her gender, eventually led to a life-long collaboration with Heezen. Today, Tharp is best known for her decades long project to map the ocean floors with sonar imaging. This revolutionary work contributed to our modern understanding undersea geography, plate tectonics, and continental drift. Ironically, women at that time were unwelcome on scientific marine voyages, so while she mapped the oceans, she never personally went to sea. Her published maps include the North Atlantic (1957), South Atlantic (1961), Indian Ocean (1964), and the world (1977). She remained at Columbia University until retiring in 1983. More by this mapmaker...

Bruce Charles Heezen (April 11, 1924 - June 21, 1977) was an American geologist active at New York's Columbia University. Heezen was born in Viton, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1947 and went on to an MA (1952) and PhD (1957) at Columbia University. There he met the pioneering female geologist, Marie Tharp (1920 - 2006), with whom he collaborated to map the ocean's floors for some 30 years. Tharp was Heezen's assistant while he was a graduate student. When she showed Heezen that her plotting of the North Atlantic revealed a rift valley, Heezen dismissed it as 'girl talk'. She persisted and they eventually discovered that not only was there a North Atlantic rift valley, but a mountain range with a central valley that spanned the earth. Heezen died of a heart attack in 1977 while aboard the NR-1 submarine studying the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near Iceland. Learn More...

Tanguy de Rémur (January 1, 1933 - December 14, 2015) was a French explorer, cartographer, and illustrator active in the second half of the 20th century. Rémur was born in Saint Quentin and is today considered one of the finest illustrators of his generation. He participated in the Claude Collin Delavaud Mount Ararat Expedition in 1958. In 1961 he worked with Rémo Forlani on Cinéma, Télévision. From 1967 to about 1987 he illustrated the magazine Paris-Match. In illustration circles, he is perhaps best known for his illustration of the Concorde exploding, where in nearly 140 parts of the plane are indicated and labeled. In cartographic circles, he is known as the illustrator of the important Marie Tharp (1920 - 2006) / Bruce Charles Heezen (1924 - 1977) map of the world's ocean floors. He died in Port-Marly at 82. Learn More...


Very good. Some margin soiling. Glossy paper.


OCLC 3417253.