Chapter 1

Borrowed time: UK marine geophysics in the early 1960s

In the 1960s, UK geophysicists combined research time on Royal Navy vessels with use of the first modern UK research ship, RRS Discovery, launched in 1963. A lot of UK geophysics focused on the North Atlantic, for convenience. Drum MatthewsDrum MatthewsDrum Matthews (1931–1997) was a fellow of Kings College Cambridge when McKenzie was an undergraduate. He was young and involved in College life. Drum was originally a geologist, with a PhD on the petrology of seafloor rocks. He worked extensively at sea, collecting gravity, magnetic and depth data, plus some seabed cores and samples, including on the International Indian Ocean Experiment in 1961-63. He, with Maurice Hill, influenced McKenzie to go into geophysics as a graduate student. Matthews continued in marine geophysics, and was the driving force behind the British Institutes Reflection Profiling Syndicate which obtained the first deep seismic profiles around the UK. and others took part in the International Indian Ocean Experiment, mapping bathymetrybathymetrythe measurement and charting of depth of water in oceans, seas or lakes. and magnetism around the Carlsberg Ridge from 1961-63.

IMAGE REFERENCE: Fred Vine’s chart showing magnetic anomalies in Carlsberg Ridge, from: Matthews, D H, Vine, F J & Cann, J R, “Geology of an area of the Carlsberg Ridge” Geological Society of America Bulletin, 76: 675-682, (1965).