Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

ECWG Dinner: Norman Cherkis: How deep is the ocean and why do we care?

October 21, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

ECWG members and their guests are cordially invited to the ECWG dinner and presentation by Norman Cherkis FN91 at the Cosmos Club, 2121 Massachusetts Ave., Washington, DC on
Saturday, 21 October 2017 at 6:00 pm.

About the Presentation

The back side of the Moon has been mapped in much greater detail than the bottom of Earth’s oceans. Although 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans, only about 13% of the oceans has been mapped, and less than that in any significant detail.

Norm will present a general and personal history of seafloor mapping, the reasons that the need is important, and the future of creating accurate maps of the seafloor for future generations. In addition to purely scientific or exploration aspects of understanding how oceanic crust forms there is a practical side to seafloor mapping as well.

The lead picture above shows an example what happens when there isn’t a good map of potential collision hazards. The nuclear submarine USS San Francisco struck an unmapped volcanic pinnacle about 350 miles southeast of Guam on 8 January 2005 as it headed to Australia from Guam at a speed in excess of 30 knots at a depth of about 160 m. Fortunately the pressure hull was not breeched. There was, however, loss of one life and several injures.

About our Speaker, Norman Cherkis, FN91

Norm Cherkis is a former seafloor-mapping specialist for the US Navy, with 45 years of seafloor mapping experience aboard numerous ships and in laboratory settings. In those 45 years, he spent over 11 years at sea and over a year deployed with a research aircraft examining the nature and topography of the sea floor in various parts of 5 of all the world’s oceans.

When Norm began, making seafloor bathymetric maps from scattered depth soundings was more of an art. He was one of the first to recognize that in many parts of the oceans the best fit for contours was much more rectilinear than the usual rounded patterns expected. Aero-geophysics and swath sonar mapping of the seafloor confirmed the rectilinear patterns, which reflected tectonic movement in oceanic crust and provided unequivocal evidence for plate tectonics. In addition, Norm took part in extensive aeromagnetic mapping programs in the central and south Pacific Oceans, the Arctic Ocean and Greenland Sea, the north and south Atlantic Oceans and the Indian Ocean.

Norm has published seafloor maps covering parts of all the world’s oceans while traveling to all eight of the continents (including the newly-identified “Zealandia”) and nearly 70 articles about seafloor mapping, marine geology and geophysics. One of his areas of expertise is the Arctic, where he participated in or led 21 expeditions on the sea and 2 aero-geophysical programs. He also has expertise in seafloor morphology and toponymy and is the only person to have served simultaneously on the Advisory on Undersea Features for the US Board on Geographic Names and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans’ Subcommittee on Undersea Feature Names.


Manhattan Clam Chowder, Grilled Ciabatta; Seared Black Sea Bass, Asparagus, Forest Mushrooms, Wild Rice Pilaf Lemon Butter Sauce; Flourless Chocolate Cake with berries.


Buy Tickets Online

To buy tickets Online click below:

Eventbrite - Norm Cherkis - How Deep Are Our Oceans and Why do We Care?


Buy Using a Check

Contact the Organizer below:



October 21, 2017
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Arnella Trent


The Cosmos Club
2121 Massachusetts Ave NW,
Washington DC, 20008 United States
+ Google Map
(202) 387-7783