Transcript for America\'s New Frontier, segment 01 of 11


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{{{"We shall not cease from our explorations and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive back where we started and know the place for the first time." T. S. Eliot, The Four Quartets}}}

or f space, planet Earth is blue, two-thirds ocean, one-third land. After centuries of travel and the introduction of satellites human beings have visited or documented most every nook and cranny on Earth's land surface. In contrast the landscape or seascape beneath the world's oceans has remained a poorly understood, obscure realm visited only occasionally by scientists and the tools of science. Our depictions of the ocean floor have relied heavily on conjecture and imagination.

These are sonographs, images made with sound that are the first real look at large stretches of ocean floor, collected in two hundred mile wide strips around all of the coastal United States. They do away with earlier conjecture and located bona fide submarine land forms, such as mountain chains, fault zones, landslides, and channel waves. They represent a revolution in ocean floor mapping and are a giant step in understanding the processes that shape America's new frontier, the ocean floor.

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