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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Scripps Institution of Oceanography research geologist Robert L. Fisher's papers, correspondence, professional materials, research files and writings.
Background
Robert Lloyd Fisher (b. 1925) is a Research Geologist Emeritus in the Geosciences Research Division at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). He is known as a leading contributor to the field of deep-sea geology, with significant lifelong contributions to the areas of seafloor exploration and cartography, sub-oceanic crustal composition and structure, and tectonics in the Pacific and Indian oceans. Fisher earned a B.S. in Geology from Caltech in 1949 and a Ph.D. in Marine Geology from UCLA in 1957 (with research completed at the SIO campus). Highly active at sea from 1951 to the early 1980s, Fisher was a participant in, and director of, many major deep-sea geological expeditions conducted at SIO. In the 1950s and 1960s he used sound-train analyses from subsurface bomb detonations and other echo-sounding technology to determine the depths of deep-ocean trenches. Fisher is attributed as the first to identify the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench as the deepest point in the world's oceans, as well as for identifying Horizon Deep in the Tonga Trench as the deepest point in the Southern Hemisphere. A dexterous mapmaker, Fisher's participation in SIO expeditions to the Gulf of California in 1959 led to the creation of a bathymetric chart in 1961 which foreshadowed later plate tectonic models. A pioneer on the theories of subduction, he co-authored a paper with Harry Hammond Hess in 1963 which first proposed that the earth's crust in oceanic trenches descends beneath the mantle by way of convection cells.
Extent
47 Linear feet (47 cartons, 25 films, 1 map case folder, 54 map case drawers, 284 rolled charts)
Restrictions
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Availability
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS.