• Title: The Silent Landscape
  • Released: 0000-00-00
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 304
From Publishers Weekly Among marine geologists, the voyage of HMS Challenger has become a legend. Launching the first exclusively scientific expedition sponsored by the British Admiralty, from late 1872 to mid-1876, the Challenger toured the world's oceans, surveying the marine environment, sounding the depths and dredging the ocean floor. Its mission was primarily reconnaissance, because at the time the underwater world was still an unexplored wilderness. Corfield, an Oxford scientist and popular science writer (Architects of Eternity), uses the expedition as a thread for stringing together lessons on oceanography and cannot help commenting on the Challenger's discoveries from his more enlightened, 21st-century perspective. As the ship passes the Bermuda Triangle, he offers modern theories about the mysterious disappearances there and the climatic effects of methane hydrates. When a naturalist wonders about the glowing water along Africa's west coast, Corfield steps in to explain bioluminescence. Regarding Antarctica, he tells about a prehistoric freshwater lake sealed under the ice, discovered in the 1970s. At the volcanic Ring of Fire in the Pacific, he lectures on seafloor spreading. If Challenger fails to oblige his lecture plans, no matter, Corfield describes what its scientists would have found had they ventured further, a hundred years later, armed with modern technology and current theory. As a result, a mere third of the actually deals with the voyage. This book may delight some readers, but it will disappoint history lovers expecting an account of a sequel to Darwin's voyage on the Beagle.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review "...Corfield augments his tale of Challenger’s research with 20th century developments... Discoveries abound." -- The Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2004

"...Corfield has told the story of this remarkable voyage... an inspiring story of the importance of pure science." -- The Commercial Dispatch, November 12, 2003

"...a fascinating narrative..." -- Library Journal, 2003

"...a very interesting look into the late nineteenth century voyage of a British naval vessel ... an easy read..." -- Marine Technology, July 2004

"...an engaging account of this epochal voyage ... [an] intriguing tale... I heartily recommend The Silent Landscape to all..." -- Science, November 7, 2003

"...at the very least, an excellent reference book and, at the most, a valuable asset to your personal library." -- Good Old Boat Newsletter, February 2004

"...the real power of this fascinating book is Corfield’s adept weaving of Challenger’s discoveries with today’s scientific investigations..." -- Maritime Life and Tradition, Spring 2004

"A most amazing and engaging true story, The Silent Landscape is a welcome and enthusiastically recommended contribution..." -- Wisconsin Bookwatch, November 2003

"In his attractively written new book, Richard Corfield sets out to recount the events of the voyage..." -- The Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin, March 2004

"Understandably strong on the science. ... When scientific endeavour and personal idiosyncrasy collide, the author is up to the job." -- Lloyd's List International, October 8

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