Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 28 Issue 03

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Volume 28, No. 3
Pages 231 - 232

BOOK REVIEW • Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and the Ocean Crust

William E. Seyfried Jr.
First Paragraph

Look no further than the imagery on the dust jacket of Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and the Ocean Crust to know that something very special lies within. The image of remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Hercules and its support vehicle Argus approaching the spectacular carbonate edifices of the Lost City Hydrothermal Field (30˚N, Mid-Atlantic Ridge) is mesmerizing. At the same time, the image provides clear evidence of technological advances in deep-sea photography made in recent years, especially when high-resolution camera systems are combined with powerful lighting and highly maneuverable deep submergence vehicles. Thus, large features rising from the seafloor (as shown here) can be viewed in totality, while the activities of the very smallest creatures in the ocean realm can be captured and recorded as well. Photography by means of a submerged camera was first attempted by Louis Boutan at the French seaside laboratory of Roscoff in 1893, and one can only imagine his reaction to the spellbinding images in this book. Frankly, this reviewer, who has had the opportunity to view up close many of the deep-sea features shown in the book from the viewport of the submersible DSRV Alvin, had a reaction probably not too dissimilar to that we can envisage from Boutan! It is, in fact, thrilling to read and/or page through this impressive book by five of the world’s experts in marine science. Indeed, authors Karson, Kelley, Fornari, Perfit, and Shank combine their vast collective knowledge of the processes that are responsible for the origin and evolution of the ocean floor and crust to produce a book that this reviewer believes sets a new standard of excellence in both content and clarity in unraveling the mysteries of the mid-ocean ridge—the largest and most prominent geological feature on Earth.


Seyfried, W.E. Jr. 2015. Review of Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and the Ocean Crust, by J.A. Karson, D.S. Kelly, D.J. Fornari, M.R. Perfit, and T.M. Shank. Oceanography 28(3):230–231, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2015.75.