Transcript for America\'s New Frontier, segment 07 of 11


{{{MUSIC}}}

What was once invisible could suddenly be seen. Following the west coast GLORIA survey the U. S. G. S. marine geologists were given the charge to map all of the three million square nautical miles of the U. S. exclusive economic zone. Departing Honolulu Harbor in September, nineteen ninety-one, the R. V. Farnella embarked on its final month-long voyage to map all of the seabed around the fifty United States. Between nineteen eighty-four and nineteen ninety-one, the Farnella steamed an equivalent of more than ten times around the planet with GLORIA in tow. It took fifty month-long cruises or more than twelve hundred days at sea. Over two hundred scientists, technicians, and crew shared in the unprecedented mapping program. Members of the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences and the Geological Survey worked closely. The British maintained the complicated GLORIA instrument with less than one percent downtime over the seven-year program. The Geological Survey rotated scientists, electrical engineers, and navigators on a cruise by cruise basis.

{{{MUSIC}}}

After the west coast, the Gulf of Mexico was mapped in nineteen eighty-five, as was the E. E. Z. off the U. S. Virgin Islands in Puerto Rico. In nineteen eighty-six the Atlantic margin was mapped between Cape Cod and Florida. Access to the Bering Sea was limited to periods of calm weather so it was mapped during the summers of nineteen eighty-six and nineteen eighty-seven. The ocean floor of the Gulf of Alaska and the region south of the Aleutian Islands was mapped between nineteen eighty-seven and nineteen eighty-nine, and the Hawaiian E. E. Z., which produced some of the more startling discoveries, required eighteen one-month cruises and was completed in October of nineteen ninety-one.