Marie Tharp at 100

July 30 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of pioneering ocean cartographer Marie Tharp, whose seafloor maps provided evidence of continental drift. Columbia University’s Earth Institute is marking the event with blog posts, interviews, workshops and other social media and multimedia activity. See, for example, this overview of her legacy by Marie Denoia Aronsohn and a reprint of Tharp’s own piece, “Connect the Dots: Mapping the Seafloor and Discovering the Mid-ocean Ridge.”

The anniversary probably explains why two books about Tharp, aimed at children, are coming out this year:

Ocean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed the Ocean’s Biggest Secret
by Jess Keating
Tundra Books, 30 Jun 2020
Amazon (Canada, UK) | Apple Books | Bookshop

Marie’s Ocean
by Josie James
Henry Holt, 22 Sep 2020
Amazon (Canada, UK) | Apple Books

Add those to Robert Burleigh’s Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor (2016), also aimed at young readers, and Hali Felt’s 2012 biography of Tharp (for adults), Soundings, which I review here.

Older posts about Marie Tharp can be found here.

Update, July 30: Suzanne O’Connell at The Conversation: “As a geoscientist, I believe Tharp should be as famous as Jane Goodall or Neil Armstrong. Here’s why.”

Author: Jonathan Crowe

Jonathan Crowe blogs about maps at The Map Room. His essays and reviews have been published by AE, Calafia, The New York Review of Science Fiction, the Ottawa Citizen, Strange Horizons and Tor.com. He lives in Shawville, Quebec.