Maurice Ewing in 1948. Photo courtesy Columbia University|
Maurice Ewing in 1948. Photo courtesy Columbia University
May 12, 1906|
|Died||May 4, 1974|
University of Texas
|Alma mater||Rice University|
J. Lamar Worzel|
John J. Carty Award (1963)|
National Medal of Science (1973)
Vetlesen Prize (1960)
William Maurice "Doc" Ewing (May 12, 1906 – May 4, 1974) was an American geophysicist and oceanographer.
Ewing has been described as a pioneering geophysicist who worked on the research of seismic reflection and refraction in ocean basins, ocean bottom photography, submarine sound transmission (including the SOFAR channel), deep sea coring of the ocean bottom, theory and observation of earthquake surface waves, fluidity of the Earth's core, generation and propagation of microseisms, submarine explosion seismology, marine gravity surveys, bathymetry and sedimentation, natural radioactivity of ocean waters and sediments, study of abyssal plains and submarine canyons.
He was born in Lockney, Texas, where he was the eldest child of a large farm family. He won a scholarship to attend Rice University, earning a B.A. with honors in 1926. He completing his graduate studies at the same institution, earning an M.A. in 1927 and being awarded his Ph.D. in 1931. In 1928 he was married to Avarilla Hildenbrand, and the couple had a son.
He moved to Columbia University, becoming a professor of geology in 1947. In 1959 he was named the Higgins Professor of Geology at Columbia. Dr. Ewing (often simply called 'Doc' by those who worked with him) was the founder (established in 1949) and first director of Lamont Geological Observatory (now known as Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) in Palisades, New York) where he worked with J. Lamar Worzel (gravity specialist), Dr. Frank Press (seismologist), Jack Nafe, and Jack Oliver. The former LDEO research vessel R/V Maurice Ewing was named in his honor.
He divorced a second time, and married Harriet Greene Bassett in 1965. In 1972 he joined the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and was named the head of the Division of Earth and Planetary Sciences of the Marine Biomedical Institute.
During his career he published over 340 scientific papers. He served as president of the American Geophysical Union and the Seismological Society of America. He led over 50 oceanic expeditions. He made many contributions to oceanography, including the discovery of the SOFAR Channel, and did much work fundamental on plate tectonics. He was the chief scientist on board the Glomar Challenger. He came up with the idea behind Project Mogul.
Awards and honors
- Penrose Medal, 1974 (posthumously)
- Walter H. Bucher Medal, 1974
- William Bowie Medal, 1957
- Arthur L. Day Medal, 1949
- John J. Carty Award of the National Academy of Sciences, 1963
- Distinguished Public Service Award, 1955
- Sidney Powers Memorial Medal, 1968
- Robert Earl McConnell Award, 1973
- National Medal of Science, 1973
- Vega Medal of the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography, 1965
- Cullum Geographical Medal of the American Geographical Society, 1961
- Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1964
- Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
- Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Elected to the American Philosophical Society
- Foreign Member of the Geological Society of London, 1964
- Guggenheim Fellow, 1938, 1953, 1955
- Awarded eleven honorary degrees.
- Geophysics Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch Marine Science Institute was renamed Maurice Ewing Hall.
- The Maurice Ewing Medals of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and American Geophysical Union were named after him.
- The lunar wrinkle ridge Dorsa Ewing was named after him.
- ^ "John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science." National Academy of Sciences. URL accessed on 25 February 2011.
- W. Maurice Ewing
- William Maurice Ewing Biography
- Maurice Ewing and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
- The Vetlesen Prize
- Excellent Video Lecture Explaining SOFAR Spheres
Coriolis effect · Earth's magnetic field · Geodynamo · Geothermal gradient · Gravity of Earth · Mantle convection · Seismic wave
American Geophysical Union · Canadian Geophysical Union · Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society · European Geosciences Union · International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics · Royal Astronomical Society · Society of Exploration Geophysicists · Seismological Society of America
Francis Birch · Hugo Benioff · Wallace Smith Broecker · Edward Bullard · Allan V. Cox · Richard Doell · Walter M. Elsasser · Maurice Ewing · Karl Friedrich Gauss · William Gilbert · Harold Jeffreys · Hiroo Kanamori · W. Jason Morgan · Chaim L. Pekeris · Keith Runcorn · William Richard Peltier · Nicholas Shackleton · John Tuzo Wilson