Taking the Floor

On April 11, 1924, oceanographer and marine geologist, Bruce Charles Heezen was born.

He became an expert on continental drift and the undersea landslides that reshape ocean floors. A pioneer in plate tectonics, he was leader of the team from Columbia University that discovered and mapped the Mid-Atlantic Ridge during the 1950s. His efforts led to the discovery of a global system of sub-sea volcanoes. Heezen’s co-discoverer, oceanographic cartographer Marie Tharp, plotted and completed the groundbreaking Heezen-Tharp map of the entire ocean floor.

Marie Tharp and Bruce Heezen check their mid-Atlantic Ridge features [Courtesy Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Columbia University Earth Institute]

Marie Tharp and Bruce Heezen check the mid-Atlantic Ridge features
Courtesy Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Columbia University Earth Institute

Heezen received the Henry Bryant Bigelow Medal from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Walter Bucher Award from the American Geophysical Union. The USNS oceanographic survey ship Bruce C. Heezen is named after him.

Surrounded by stacks of core samples from the Atlantic ocean floor, oceanographer and marine geologist Bruce Heezen demonstrates features of the continental shelf.

Surrounded by stacks of core samples from the Atlantic ocean floor, oceanographer and marine geologist Bruce Heezen demonstrates features of the continental shelf.

B Bondar / Real World Content Advantage

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