Hess , Harry Hammond
(1906–1969) American geologist
Hess was born in New York City and educated at Yale, graduating in 1927, and Princeton where he gained his PhD in 1932. He worked first as a field geologist in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) in the period 1928–29. After a year at Rutgers in 1932 he moved to Princeton in 1934, becoming professor of geology in 1948.
Hess was a key figure in the postwar revolution in the Earth sciences. He was the first to draw up theories using the considerable discoveries on the nature of the ocean floor that were made in the postwar period. Hess himself discovered about 160 flat-topped summits on the ocean bed, which he named ‘guyots’ for an earlier Princeton geologist, Arnold Guyot. As they failed to produce atolls he dated them to the Precambrian, 600 million years ago, before the appearance of corals. But in 1956 Cretaceous fossils, from only 100 million years ago, were found in Pacific guyots. The whole of the ocean floor was discovered to be surprisingly young, dating only as far back as the Mesozoic, while the continental rocks were much older.
In 1962 Hess published his important paper, History of Ocean Basins. The ocean floors were young, he argued, as they were constantly being renewed by magma flowing from the mantle up through the oceanic rifts, discovered by William Morris Ewing, and spreading out laterally. This became known as the sea-floor spreading hypothesis and was a development of the convection-currents theory proposed by Arthur Holmes in 1929. The hypothesis has been modified since its proposal, notably through the work of Drummond Hoyle Matthews and Frederick Vine on magnetic anomalies, but remains largely accepted.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Harry Hammond Hess — Harry Hess, Kommandant der USS Cape Johnson (AP 172) Harry Hammond Hess (* 24. Mai 1906 in New York City; † 25. August 1969 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts) war ein US amerikanischer Geologe und einer der Wegbereiter der Theorie der Plattentektonik …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Harry Hammond Hess — Harry Hess Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hess. Harry Hess commandant du USS Cape Johnson Harry Hammond Hess est un officier de marine et géologue américain, né le 24 ma …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Harry Hammond Hess — Nacimiento 24 de mayo 1906 Fallecimiento 25 de agosto 1969 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Harry Hammond Hess — Infobox Scientist name = Harry Hammond Hess box width = image width =150px caption =Harry Hess commanding the USS Cape Johnson . birth date = May 24, 1906 birth place = death date = August 25, 1969 death place = residence = citizenship =… …   Wikipedia

  • Hess — Harry Hammond …   Scientists

  • Harry Hess — Harry Hess, Kommandant der USS Cape Johnson (AP 172) Harry Hammond Hess (* 24. Mai 1906 in New York City; † 25. August 1969 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts) war ein US amerikanischer Geologe und einer der Wegbereiter der Theorie der Plattentektonik …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hess (Mondkrater) — Eigenschaften Breitengrad 54,3° S Längengrad 174,6° O Durchmesser 88 km Tiefe unbekannt Selenografische Colongitude 188° bei Sonnenaufgang Benannt nach Vict …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Harry Hess (disambiguation) — Harry Hess may be: * Harry Hess (born 1968), Canadian singer and guitarist * Harry Hammond Hess (1906–1969), American geologist and United States Navy officer during World War 2 * Harry Hess (football coach), American college football coach …   Wikipedia

  • Hess (Familienname) — Hess oder Heß ist ein deutscher Familienname. Herkunft, Bedeutung und Verbreitung Hess ist eine um 1394 erstmalig nachweisbare Variation des Namens Hessi, der die Herkunft vom Stamm der Hessen angibt.[1] Er ist einer der häufigsten deutschen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Harry Hess — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hess. Harry Hess commandant du USS Cape Johnson Harry Hammond Hess est un officier de marine et géologue américain, né le 24 mai 1906 à New York …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”