Events Calendar

KVA Open Lecture | Larry Mayer

Open Academy Lecture
Ocean Mapping: Exploring the Secrets of the Deep

by Larry Mayer
University of New Hampshire, USA

Time: Wednesday 13 September 2017, 18h00

Place: The Beijer Hall, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Lilla Frescativägen 4A, Stockholm


It has often been said that we know more about the backside of the Moon then our own ocean's bottom. Sadly this is true. The Moon and Mars have both been mapped at much higher resolution then the 75% of the earth’s surface represented by the world's ocean basins. While it is wonderful to be able to produce detailed maps of the Moon and Mars, one would think that we owe it to ourselves to understand our own planet at the same level of resolution. In some ways the challenges are greater -- while space is transparent to the light, the ocean waters prevent the use of optical techniques for mapping beyond very shallow depths and we need to turn to sound or SONAR systems to map much of the seafloor. Over the past 50 years - there have been remarkable advances in our ability to use sonar to map the seafloor. These advances combine sophisticated sonar technology with advanced visualization tools and are provided remarkable new perspectives of the seafloor and seafloor processes. More recently our sonar and visualization tools have allowed us to image the water column. We will explore these new tools and the insights they are providing about seafloor and ocean processes, including the discovery of 3,000 meter high mountains in the Arctic, D-day wrecks, the underwater behavior of whales, the history of climate through the impact of ice on the sea floor and the distribution of natural (and unnatural) gas seeps including the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Larry Mayer, University of New Hampshire, USA.Larry Mayer is a Professor and Director of the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering and The Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire. He received a Ph.D. from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1979. After being selected as an astronaut candidate finalist for NASA's first class of mission specialists, Larry went on to a Post-Doc at GSO-URI and in 2000 became the founding director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire. Larry has spent more than 70 months at sea and has been chief or co-chief scientist of numerous expeditions including eight mapping expeditions in the ice-covered regions of the high Arctic. He is the recipient of the Keen Medal for Marine Geology and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stockholm. He is currently the Chair of the U.S. National Academies of Science’s Oceans Studies Board, a member of the State Dept.’s Extended Continental Shelf Task Force and the Navy’s SCICEX Advisory Committee. In 2016 Larry was appointed by President Obama to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. The lecture is free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not needed. 


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