Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John Murray (oceanographer)
Murray was born on March 3rd, 1841, at Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, to Scottish parents who had emigrated seven years earlier. He returned to Scotland to study, firstly at Stirling High School, and then at the University of Edinburgh, but soon left to join a whaling expedition to Spitsbergen as ships' surgeon. He returned to Edinburgh to complete his studies in geology under Sir Archibald Geikie and natural philosophy under Peter Guthrie Tait. Tait introduced Murray to Charles Wyville Thomson who had been appointed to lead the Challenger Expedition. Murray joined Wyville Thomson as his assistant on this four-year expedition to explore the deep oceans of the globe. After Wyville Thompson succumbed to the stress of publishing the reports of the Challenger Expedition, Murray took over, and edited and published over 50 volumes of reports, which were completed in 1896. He was knighted (K.C.B) in 1898. Murray was killed when his car overturned near his home on March 16th, 1914, Kirkliston, Edinburgh, and he is buried at the nearby Dean Churchyard.
In 1883, Murray set up the Marine Laboratory at Granton, Edinburgh, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. In 1894, this laboratory was moved to Millport and became the Scottish Marine Station, the forerunner of todays Scottish Association for Marine Science at Dunstaffnage.
Murray is credited as the founder of modern oceanography, and was the first person to use the term "oceanography". He was also the first to note the existence of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and of oceanic trenches. He also noted the presence of deposits derived from the Saharan desert in deep ocean sediments and published a vast number of papers on his findings. His last major contribtion to science was coordinating a bathymetric survey of 562 of Scotland's freshwater lochs in 1897, involving over 60,000 individual depth soundings, which were published in 6 volumes in 1910.
His named is remembered in the John Murray Laboratories at the University of Edinburgh, the John Murray Society at the University of Newcastle, and the new Scottish Environmental Protection Agency research vessel, the S.V. Sir John Murray.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details