Public Outreach and Education


How did the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone get its dual name?

The explanation can be found in Vogt & Johnson (1975); on page 372 they write:

"There is also some ambiguity about the name in the literature.  The northern fracture zone was first called 'Charlie'  (Johnson,1967) after the weather  ship that collected soundings in  the area.   Subsequently   Fleming et al. (1970) introduced the name 'Gibbs.' The Board on Geographical names has ruled in favor of 'Charlie,' but both names now appear in the literature. At the suggestion of the senior author (Vogt), the compromise name 'Charlie Gibbs' was introduced by Laughton et al. (1972) and we adopt this name.”

The Gibbs name was taken from the name of the survey vessel USNS Josiah Willard Gibbs that made a survey of the fracture zone area in July 1968It seems we have to credit the dual name “Charlie-Gibbs” to Peter  R. Vogt  of the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office and the first usage in a peer –reviewed paper is in Vogt & Johnson  (1975). 


Fleming  H.S.,  Cherkis N.Z, &  Heirtzler J.R.  (1970) The Gibbs fracture zone: A double fracture zone at 52°30’N in the Atlantic Ocean. Marine  Geophysical Researches 1:37-45

Johnson G. L. (1967) North Atlantic fracture zones near 53°, Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2: 445-447.

Laughton, A. S., et al. (1972) Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project, vol. 12, pp. 1181-1i89, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

Vogt P. R.  & Johnson G.L. (1975) Transform faults and longitudinal flow below the Mid Oceanic
Ridge.  Journal of  Geophysical  Research 80: 1399-1428,


Try out the ECOMAR marine themed wordsearch.


Try and complete our ECOMAR puzzles

(click on the image of your choice below, then click "run" and then once loaded click on the present icon in the centre of the screen):

Lesson plan links:

Age < 7 (KS 1)

WHOI: Marine adaptations

Age 7 - 11 (KS 2) (US Kindergarten and grade 1)

WHOI: Creature from the deep

WHOI: The unseen ocean floor

WHOI: Sampling the ocean floor

WHOI: Fish tank territories

Age 11 - 14 (KS 3) (US grade 6-8)

National Geographic: Marine Protected Areas

National Geographic: Biodiversity

WHOI: How to hide in the ocean

WHOI: Mid-ocean magnetism

WHOI: The unseen ocean floor

WHOI: Whaling voyage

Age 14 - 16 (KS 4) (US grade 9-12)

NOAA: Dive in!

NOAA: Coral reefs

NOAA: Designing an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV)

NOAA: Coral reef crossword

NOAA: Concentration gradients

NOAA: Fish population biology

NOAA: Marine animal chemical defense

NOAA: Experimental design


Other mixed lesson plans:

NOAA Lesson Plans

Sea Education Association

UCLA Marine Science Education

National Park Service: Environment art

National Geographic: Classroom companion (global fish crisis and related materials)

Marine Discovery, University of Arizona

National Geographic: Ecology themed lesson plans

Treasures at sea: Ocean art activities

New Jersey Marine Science Lesson Plans


Educational links:

MAR-ECO Explore the Deep Sea

Census of Marine Life Education


Marine Education Resource Center

Seven Seas Guide