Sir John Murray

Sir John Murray, oceanographer (b at Cobourg, Canada W 3 Mar 1841; d at Kirkliston, Scot 16 Mar 1914). At 17, Murray moved to Scotland, the ocean voyage inspiring him in his lifelong career.

Murray, Sir John

Sir John Murray, oceanographer (b at Cobourg, Canada W 3 Mar 1841; d at Kirkliston, Scot 16 Mar 1914). At 17, Murray moved to Scotland, the ocean voyage inspiring him in his lifelong career. After attending the University of Edinburgh, he became naturalist to the CHALLENGER EXPEDITION (1872-76), during which he mapped much of the ocean floor of the world and became expert at classifying sediments and determining their origins. Other expeditions included one to Spitsbergen in 1868 and a survey of freshwater lochs in Scotland, published in 6 vols. After the death of Challenger expedition leader C.W. Thomson, Murray edited most of the resulting 50 vols (1882-95), and wrote the 2-vol summary (1895). Other contributions included a theory on the origin of coral reefs, a textbook on OCEANOGRAPHY with Johan Hjort (1912) used for about 30 years, and a popular account (1913). His 1888 estimates of proportions of various depths of ocean floor still generally hold. He was knighted in 1898.