The Oceans”/>
Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 05 Issue 03

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Volume 05, No. 3
Pages 157 - 159


Physical Oceanography in The Oceans

Bruce A. Warren
First Paragraph

Columbus Iselin used to say that Chapter XV of The Oceans, “The Water Masses and Currents of the Oceans,” was Sverdrup’s greatest contribution to oceanography. It was a masterful, monumental synthesis of information, and it formed a comprehensive account of the physical features of the whole world ocean. The only previous work of comparable scope was Krümmel’s Handbuch der Ozeanographie, but that was much more a compilation of observations than a synthesis. Sverdrup’s style was forthright and decisive, exemplifying the attitude expressed by the book’s authors in their preface: “we have…preferred definite statements to mere enumeration of uncorrelated observations and conflicting interpretations, believing that the treatment selected would be more stimulating.”


Warren, B.A. 1992. Physical oceanography in The Oceans. Oceanography 5(3):157–159,

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