Scientific exploration, national "flag-waving", and relief maps of the Philippine Trench on the Galathea Deep Sea Expedition from 1950 to 1952
By the early 20th century, oceanographers intensified their efforts to map the deep sea. The great depth of the Philippine Trench was first observed by the German Planet Expedition in 1912. During World War II, the US naval vessel Cape Johnson used directional echo-sounding to obtain a depth of 10,497 m. In 1951, the Danish Galathea Deep Sea Expedition from 1950 to 1952 verified the result of the Cape Johnson sounding. Today, the greatest depth in the Philippine Trench is the Galathea Depth of 10,540 m. The Galathea Expedition produced several echograms of the deepest parts of the Philippine Trench in order to map its bathymetric features. The resulting maps are presented in this poster. Unlike many other contemporary developments in deep sea topography and cartography that were shaped by the Cold War, the Galathea maps of the Philippine Trench were intimately connected with the expedition's attempt to "wave the Danish flag". The expedition was the first scientific expedition to have on board a separate press section communicating its scientific results as well as Danish nationality to the wider public. In this poster, the Galathea maps of the Philippine Trench are placed within this context of combined national "flag-waving", publicity, and scientific exploration.
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22nd International Conference on the History of Cartography, 2007