Google Doodle celebrates life of American geologist Marie Tharp


Google Doodle is celebrating the life of Marie Tharp, an American geologist and oceanographic cartographer today.

Have you googled anything today? If yes, you would have noticed that Google Doodle is celebrating the life of an American geologist and oceanographic cartographer Marie Tharp. “Today’s Doodle features an interactive exploration of Tharp’s life. Her story is narrated by Caitlyn Larsen, Rebecca Nesel, and Dr. Tiara Moore , three notable women who are currently living out Tharp’s legacy by making strides in the traditionally male-dominated ocean science and geology spaces,” Google informed.

Born on July 30, 1920 In Ypsilanti, Michigan, Marie Tharp is the lady who helped prove the theories of continental drift and has co-published the first world map of the ocean floors. On November 21, 1998, the Library of Congress named her one of the greatest cartographers of the 20th century. Here is all you need to know about Marie Tharp and her family.

Tharp’s father worked for the US Department of Agriculture and gave her an early introduction to mapmaking. She attended the University of Michigan for her master’s degree in petroleum geology. She moved to New York City in the year 1948 and became the first woman to work at the Lamont Geological Observatory where she met geologist Bruce Heezen.

“Heezen gathered ocean-depth data in the Atlantic Ocean, which Tharp used to create maps of the mysterious ocean floor. New findings from echo sounders (sonars used to find water depth) helped her discover the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. She brought these findings to Heezen, who infamously dismissed this as “girl talk,” informed Google.

Google further informed, “However, when they compared these V-shaped rifts with earthquake epicenter maps, Bruce Heezen could not ignore the facts. Plate tectonics and continental drift were no longer just theories—the seafloor was undoubtedly spreading. In 1957, Tharp and Heezen co-published the first map of the ocean floor in the North Atlantic. Twenty years later, National Geographic published the first world map of the entire ocean floor penned by Tharp and Heezen, titled “The World Ocean Floor.””

In the year 1995, Tharp donated her entire map collection to the Library of Congress. On the 100th anniversary celebration of its Geography and Map Division, the Library of Congress named her one of the most important cartographers in the 20th century. In 2001, the same observatory where she started her career awarded her with its first annual Lamont-Doherty Heritage Award.


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