The Bloggingheads with David Dobbs and Moi is now up at Blogginheads, and embedded here:
As Europeans plied the seas in search (and ultimately management) of colonies and conquests, they learned the practical geology they needed to find their way and avoid wrecks. Everyone knows that Charles Darwin’s opportunity to spend several years on the Beagle ultimately rested on the British Admiralty’s need to improve navigation maps, especially along the South American coasts. The near shore conditions change, some of the existing maps were not adequate, and the size of ships was increasing so once-safe passages no longer necessarily were. The Beagle’s Captain Fitzroy had a reputation was for tenacious accuracy in map making and navigation, and the fact that a one or two year voyage (as planned) more than doubled in its time is a testament to this.
One of the features critical to navigation is the coral reef. Reefs provided an excellent way to wreck your ship in a storm as well as one of the best ways to Continue reading Charles Darwin Bicentennial – Coral Reefs