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Geophysics in the Affairs of Man - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080240251, 9781483278483

Geophysics in the Affairs of Man

1st Edition

A Personalized History of Exploration Geophysics and Its Allied Sciences of Seismology and Oceanography

Authors: Charles C. Bates Thomas F. Gaskell Robert B. Rice
eBook ISBN: 9781483278483
Imprint: Pergamon
Published Date: 1st January 1982
Page Count: 512
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Geophysics in the Affairs of Man: A Personalized History of Exploration Geophysics and its Allied Sciences of Seismology and Oceanography describes many of the key and intriguing developments which took place within several major fields of geophysics. This book is composed of nine chapters that focus on the geophysical enterprise as an interplay of technical, social, and economic factors. After a brief overview of geophysics activity before the World War I, this book goes on the period of the so-called ""golden days"" of exploration geophysics. The succeeding chapter deals with the exploration geophysics during the global war, particularly the classical seismological activity during this time. These topics are followed by discussions of the geophysical activities from 1945 to 1960, as well as the introduction of oceanography field. Other chapters cover the interaction between geophysics and ecology, as well as OPEC during the period of 1970s and early 1980s. The final chapters consider the status and nature of geophysical exploration industry. This book will prove useful to geophysicists, historians, and researchers in the allied fields.

Table of Contents

Conversion Factors


1. Some Antecedents to the Modern-day Profession of Geophysics Through World War I

Diffusing Geophysical Knowledge

Geophysical Forbearers Prior to the 19th Century

A Brief Overview of Earth Physics - 1800 to 1919

Artillery Location by Acoustic and Seismic Means

Oceanography Simultaneously Becomes a Science and a Technology

2. Geophysics Comes of Age — The Roaring Twenties and the Depressing Thirties

The Golden Days of Exploration Geophysics

The Appearance of Electrical Well Logging

Classical Seismology Strikes Out on Its Own

The Rebirth of Extensive Océanographie Endeavors

3. Geophysicists at War - 1939-1945

Exploration Geophysics During a Time of Global War

Classical Seismology During the War Years

Geophysical Detection of Enemy Artillery

Influence Mines in Naval Warfare — A New Application of Geophysical Sensors

Geophysical Aspects of Undersea Warfare

4. Reversion to Peacetime, 1945—1950

A Time of Transition

Exploration Geophysics Bounces Back

Classical Seismology Stays Much the Same

The Opening of the Canadian Arctic

Oceanography Comes of Age

5. The 1950s — A Burgeoning Era of Geophysics

A Short Overview of the Decade

Correcting the Manpower Shortage in Exploration Geophysics

The Geophysical Industry Grapples with Managerial and Technical Problems

The Advent of Magnetic Recording and Electronic Data Processing

Non-dynamite Energy Sources for Seismic Exploration

A Seismic Search for St. Peter's Tomb

Project Magnet — A Global Airborne Survey of the Earth's Magnetic Field

Should there be a Nuclear Test Ban?

The Berkner Panel on Seismic Improvement

Meteorological Fallout from Escalating Nuclear Test Programs

The International Geophysical Year

Laying the Foundation for Earth-oriented Satellites

Military Oceanography Thrives During "Peacetime"

Geophysical Research Penetrates the Polar Basin

The Oceanographers also Prefer Large-scale Projects

6. Science in Government and Government in Science — the 1960s

The Exuberant 1960s

Bad News and Good News for the Geophysical Industry

The Geophysical Industry Shifts to Digital Recording and Processing

The Search for Appropriate Underground Nuclear Test Ban Language

Project Vela Uniform — A Potential Solution to the Treaty Language Problem

Creation of a Modern Global Seismological Network

Vela Uniform's Research Program

Are Bigger and Better Seismic Arrays the Route to Go?

Tabor Pluto - The British Equivalent to Vela Uniform

Research Explosions and Their Impact

International Seismology with a Neutralist Flavor

The Substitution of Plate Tectonics for Continental Drift

Project Mohole Loses Out to the Deep Sea Drilling Project

A Decade of Ocean Politics and Ocean Policy

Earth-oriented Satellites at Last

7. Geophysics Interacts with the Environmentalists and OPEC - the 1970s and the Early 1980s

A Period of Controversy

Boom Days Once Again for Exploration Geophysics

Non-profit Geophysics Acquires a Political Hue

The Good Earth as a Killer

Is Mankind Modifying the Earth?

By what Means will Geophysics Progress into the Future?

8. Geophysics as a Business — Then and Now

The Dollar Volume of the Exploration Geophysics Industry

Role of the Individual Entrepreneur

Growth and Proliferation of Geophysical Firms

Corporate Profiles — General

The Nature of Large, Full Service Contractors

Compagnie Générale de Géophysique

Digicon, Inc.

Geophysical Service, Inc. — Texas Instruments, Inc.

Petty-Ray Geophysical Operations

Seiscom Delta, Inc.

Seismograph Service Corporation

Teledyne Geotech and Teledyne Exploration

Western Geophysical Company of America

Smaller Seismic Data Acquisition Firms

An Exceptional Small Firm — the Dawson Geophysical Company

A Unique Firm — the Geophysical Systems Corporation

Some New Firms on the Scene

Fairfield Industries, Inc.

Geophysical Company of Norway

Grant Geophysical Corporation

NF Industries, Inc.

NORPAC Exploration Services, Inc.

Firms Specializing in Seismic Data Processing

Teknica Resource Development, Ltd.

Geoquest International, Inc.

Other Service Companies

Equipment Manufacturing and Supply Companies

The Consulting Business

The Business End of Gravity and Magnetic Surveys

The Craig Ferris-E. V. McCollum Partnership

The Gravity Meter Exploration Company

Sigmund Hammer

The Mineral Exploration Business

Barringer Resources, Inc.

The Industry's Prospects for the Future

The Situation as Viewed by the International Association of Geophysical Contractors

Manpower Issues

The Potential for Continued Technical Advances and Discoveries of New Natural Resources

9. Geophysics As They Saw It

In Retrospect

Some Major Personal Achievements

Exploration Geophysics

Earth Physics



Personal Vignettes

Teaching Geophysics:

Comments on the Early Years of the Lamont Geological Observatory

Learning Geophysics

Geophysical Prospecting:

Reflections on the Field of Exploration Geophysics

Conception of the Common-depth-point Method of Seismic Surveying

The Way It Really Happened — The Invention of the VIBROSEIS System

Oceanographic Expeditions of Unusual Interest

The Unforeseen Demise of Operation Skijump II

The International Indian Ocean Expedition and its Scientific Aftermath

Appendix A — Significant Events in the Evolution of Geophysical Service, Inc. and its Offshoot, Texas Instruments, Inc.


Name Index

Subject Index

About the Authors


No. of pages:
© Pergamon 2013
1st January 1982
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

Charles C. Bates

Thomas F. Gaskell

Robert B. Rice

Ratings and Reviews