ISSUE 67, JULY 2020
EGU Newsletter: Monthly information service for members of the European Geosciences Union

Marie Tharp, July 2001. Credit: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the estate of Marie Tharp.


Thursday 30 July marks the centennial of the birth of Marie Tharp, a pioneering geologist and cartographer whose groundbreaking scientific contributions played a key role in the eventual acceptance of the theory of plate tectonics. Tharp is best known for her detailed seafloor maps that revealed a wealth of previously unknown features, including seamounts, trenches, transform faults, and most notably, the mid-ocean ridge system.

Tharp’s story is all the more compelling due to the adversity she overcame during her career—much of it related to her gender. Because Tharp didn’t always receive credit for her work, her contributions were initially overlooked. Fortunately, Hali Felt, the author of Tharp’s biography, and others have helped correct the record. “Marie wouldn’t have chosen to experience the gender discrimination that told her the humanities were a “better fit” and forced her to work in an office rather than the field,” says Felt in a recent EGU blog, “but the result was that she found her calling closer to home, and mapped 70 percent of the Earth’s surface in the process.”

This month, EGU is celebrating Tharp’s achievements, and those of all women geoscientists, through a series of posts, including one by the Tectonics and Structural Geology Division that revisits her legacy and its importance for laying the foundations of modern geology. EGU also spoke with six researchers working in the fields of ocean science, tectonics, and mapping to ask them what Marie Tharp’s work means to them personally, as well as to the future of ocean science and tectonic research. “Her life story is a burning, guiding light for me,” says marine geographer Dawn Wright.

We hope these articles will inspire all EGU members to help one another overcome whatever adversity we face. Tharp “succeeded in building a career that she loved, and was proud of,” says structural geologist Lucia Perez Diaz. “As a woman in science, I can’t imagine a better dream to work towards.”


EGU News
General Assembly
Journal Watch
EGU Science in the News
EGU Blogs

EGU News

More EGU news items are available on the EGU website.

General Assembly

More EGU 2021 information is available on the meeting website.

Journal Watch

Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO)

Lower-thermosphere response to solar activity: an empirical-mode-decomposition analysis of GOCE 2009–2012 data

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP)

Enhanced growth rate of atmospheric particles from sulfuric acid

Identifying a regional aerosol baseline in the eastern North Atlantic using collocated measurements and a mathematical algorithm to mask high-submicron-number-concentration aerosol events

Smoke of extreme Australian bushfires observed in the stratosphere over Punta Arenas, Chile, in January 2020: optical thickness, lidar ratios, and depolarization ratios at 355 and 532 nm

Biogeosciences (BG)

The contribution of microbial communities in polymetallic nodules to the diversity of the deep-sea microbiome of the Peru Basin (4130–4198 m depth)

Twenty-first century ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation, and upper-ocean nutrient and primary production decline from CMIP6 model projections

N2O changes from the Last Glacial Maximum to the preindustrial – Part 2: terrestrial N2O emissions and carbon–nitrogen cycle interactions

On giant shoulders: how a seamount affects the microbial community composition of seawater and sponges

Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf)

Mātauranga Māori in geomorphology: existing frameworks, case studies, and recommendations for incorporating Indigenous knowledge in Earth science

Earth System Dynamics (ESD)

The role of prior assumptions in carbon budget calculations

Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS)

Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS)

Solid Earth (SE)

The Cryosphere (TC)

Other papers highlighted by the editors of EGU open access journals are available online.

EGU Science in the News

A snapshot of recent English-speaking news coverage based on research published in EGU's 19 open access journals:

•    The great staycation – how the coronavirus pandemic could push a rapid transition to creative domestic holidays, based on a study by Marty et al. in The Cryosphere
•    Large-scale hydrological and water resources model aids in the accurate assessment of water supply and demand, based on a GMD study by Burek et al.
•    Potent GHG SF6 rapidly accumulating in atmosphere, driven by demand for SF6-insulated switchgear in developing countries, based on an ACP study by Simmonds et al.
•    Italy's melting glaciers face new threat: Pink ice and Pink ice in the Alps: how threatening to glaciers can it be?, both based a study in The Cryosphere by Zekollari et al.

EGU Blogs

GeoLog, the EGU blog  EGU network blogs EGU division blogs More EGU blog posts are available at
EGU Science for Policy
Discover EGU's Science for Policy resources & sign up to be listed in our database of expertise to help integrate science into the policy-making process
EGU Meetings Calendar
EGU Jobs Portal
Early Career Scientists website
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