Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 24 Issue 04

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Volume 24, No. 4
Pages 146 - 147


BOOK REVIEW • Life in the Mid Atlantic

By Clyde F.E. Roper  
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A quick summary of Peter Boyle’s Life in the Mid Atlantic is revealed in the subtitle: “An exploration of marine life and environment in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean from sea surface to the sea bed.” This book presents detailed, authoritative, and broad coverage of an international expedition designed to explore the sea life that inhabits the northernmost section of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Part of the global mid-ocean ridge system that defines divergent plate boundaries, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises to a height of 3,000 to 4,000 meters above the deep seafloor, occasionally even higher to break the sea surface as volcanic islands such as Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, far to the south, and Iceland to the north. The expedition to explore the Mid-Atlantic Ridge was a part of the international Census of Marine Life program whose goal was to assess the species of marine organisms living in the world ocean. The concept for the Census grew out of the recognition by marine scientists around the world that life in the deep sea was extremely poorly known. Numerous workshops and discussions among hundreds of marine scientists (e.g., see Oceanography volume 12, number 3 at http://www.tos.org/oceanography/issue/volume-12-issue-03) resulted in the awarding of very significant Sloan Foundation funding for the establishment and execution of the Census of Marine Life. In all, 17 major field programs were designed to answer the very broad questions: What lives in the ocean? What lived in the ocean? What will live in the ocean?


Roper, C.F.E. 2011. Review of Life in the Mid Atlantic, by P. Boyle. Oceanography 24(4):146–147, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2011.110.

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