History of Sounding

To the left we see a ship approaching the coast. A sailor is sounding the depth. The anchor is hanging ready at the bow. To the right a man is standing on the shore, also sounding the depth with a line provided with a large lead weight.






Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus, 1555

Lord Mulgrave's Arctic expedition in 1773 reached a depth of 683 fathoms.
On a voyage to Baffin Bay in 1817, Sir John Ross using a "deep sea clam" on the end of a rope, reached a depth of 1,050 fathoms.
A sounding of 2,425 fathoms was obtained by Sir James Clark Ross on his expedition to the Antarctic in 1839.
The Challenger Expedition, 1875 recorded a sounding of 4,500 fathoms in the Marianas Trench.
At the same time the USS Tuscarora recorded 4,665 fathoms in the Kuril Trench using piano wire.
Captain Andrew Balfour aboard the British surveying vessel Penguin recorded 5,155 fathoms in 1895.
In 1899 Nero Deep, southeast of Guam was discovered. A depth of 9,660 metres was recorded.
The Dutch vessel Willebord Snellius recorded 5,539 fathoms in the Philippine Trench using audio-frequency sounding.
During the 1930's The USS Ramapo also using audio-frequency in the Philippine Trench recorded 5,673 fathoms.
During World War II, with the use of an echo-sounder, the commander of the USS Cape Johnson, Dr.H.H.Hess sounded a depth of 5,740 fathoms.
In 1951 the Challenger II recorded 10,899 meters in the Philippine Trench.
In 1957, the Soviet research ship Vityaz sounded a new world record depth of 11,034 metres.

In 1960 Jacques Piccard and Lieutenant Don Walsh of the United States Navy descended to a depth of 10,900 metres in the bathyscaph Trieste to the floor of the Challenger Deep.
In 1962 in the Marianas Trench, Dr Robert I. Fisher of Scripps Institute of Oceanography obtained a reading of 10,915 metres using the advanced precision depth recorder.
In 1984 in the vicinity of the Challenger Deep, the survey vessel Takuyo recorded a depth of 10,924 metres using a multi-beam echo-sounder.
In 1995 a small remote controlled Japanese submersible 'Keiko', set a new depth record of 10,978 meters in the Challenger Deep.

See Also

Medieval Shipping
History of Navigation

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