Ref NoLDGSL/1107/A/1/3
TitleLamont Geological Observatory, 1967-1968
DateDec 1967-Feb 1968
Extent1 file
DescriptionCorrespondence covering the period when Dan McKenzie was employed as a Research Scientist at Lamont Geological Observatory of Columbia University, New York, USA, December 1967-February 1968.

Correspondents and subjects include:

Jason Morgan, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA, forwarding McKenzie a copy of his own paper on plate tectonics [not included] and describing two other papers given at the AGU conference and the work of Xavier Le Pichon which are relevant to McKenzie's research, suggests McKenzie's interpretation of the movement of the Pacific Block is more complex than he suggests, 9 December 1967*; Robert 'Bob' Phinney, professor of geophysics, Princeton University, on the dates of McKenzie's appointment at the university and Jerry Eaton's experiments on hot creep, 13 December 1968; Donald H Deneck, Physics Editor, John Wiley & Sons, New York, USA, seeking McKenzie's opinion on the forthcoming book by William Kaula [probably 'An Introduction to Planetary Physics', (1968)], 20 November 1967, with copy reply from McKenzie, 20 December 1968; copy of telegram sent by McKenzie to the editor of 'Nature' requesting that the publication put a hold on the paper, McKenzie, D & R L Parker, "The North Pacific: an example of tectonics on a sphere", 22 December 1967*; letter from McKenzie to the editor of 'Nature', explaining that he would prefer that his and Parker's paper "The North Pacific: an example of tectonics on a sphere", appear simultaneously with Jason Morgan's paper which is due to be published in the March issue of the 'Journal of Geophysical Research' as he did not realise that some of the contents of the latter had been presented at the AGU the previous March, 22 December 1967* [note the sheet has been torn up, then sellotaped back together]; letter from McKenzie to Orson LaMar Anderson, editor of the 'Journal of Geophysical Research', submitting the paper, McKenzie, D & J G Sclater, "Heat flow inside the island arcs of the northwestern Pacific" for publication, 27 December 1967; abstract of McKenzie's presentation 'The relation between convection and the external gravity field', for the April 1968 AGU conference, [December 1967]; John Maddox, editor of 'Nature', informing McKenzie that his plate tectonics paper has already been published, 29 December 1967*;

Brief letter from Walter Heinrich Munk, Institute of Geophysics & Planetary Physics, La Jolla Laboratories, University of California, San Diego, USA, not surprised that other groups have been working on the same subject [plate tectonics], 3 January 1968*; John Sclater, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, USA, discussing the contents of their joint paper "Heat flow inside the island arcs of the northwestern Pacific", [published in the 'Journal of Geophysical Research', vol 73 (1968), pp3173-3179] which includes a sheet of ms critical notes from Philip Rudwick, the official Scripps reviewer, and their forthcoming presentation at the IUGG conference, 5 January 1967; 'Global Tectonics', typescript summary of the contents of McKenzie's and Parker's paper "The North Pacific: an example of tectonics on a sphere" for the German journal 'UMSCHAU in Wissenschaft und Technik', January 1968; Jeremiah S Finch, Secretary of Princeton University, confirming McKenzie's appointment as a Visiting Lecturer at the institution, 13 January 1968; Michael James Lighthill, Royal Society Research Professor, Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, England, requesting that McKenzie apply for a ICI Fellowship Grant to be able to continue his studies at the university, 18 January 1968, with two copies of McKenzie's CV & bibliography and short statement which were submitted; Edward 'Teddy' Bullard, head of the Department of Geodesy and Geophysics, University of Cambridge, England, asking where McKenzie's latest papers will be published, 22 January 1968; John Sclater, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, discussing in detail the contents of their joint paper "Heat flow inside the island arcs of the northwestern Pacific", 25 January [1968]; William Stauder, Department of Geophysics and Geophysical Engineering, Saint Louis University, Missouri, USA, forwarding his paper on the Rat Island earthquake of 1965 which cites McKenzie's & Parker's plate tectonics paper, 29 January 1968; Harry Hess, Department of Geology, Princeton University, recommending a hotel in Mexico City, 30 January 1968; letter from McKenzie submitting a revised paper for publication, with editorial suggestions, [paper is McKenzie, D, "The influence of the boundary conditions and rotation on convection in the Earth’s mantle", 'Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society', vol 15 (1968), pp457-500], 31 January 1968;

Clarence R Allen, Acting Chairman, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA, McKenzie's appointment as a regular Visiting Associate at the institution, 2 February 1968; cutting of article "Heat anomalies are laid to tensions in Crust", concerning McKenzie's theory that heat flow anomalies around ocean ridges are not necessarily caused by the mantle, taken from 'Dateline in Science', 2 February 1968; Lee Alvin Dubridge, President of Caltech, confirming McKenzie's appointment as Visiting Associate in Geophysics for the next two years, with terms of employment, 6 February 1968, with copy reply from McKenzie accepting the post but will first need to get Imperial College's permission [as he was applying for a Fellowship], 8 February 1968; Timothy Shirtcliffe, Physics Department, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, wishing to work with McKenzie during a sabbatical, 9 February 1968; Don Lynn Anderson, Director, Seismological Laboratory, Caltech, updating McKenzie on the work of members of the department, including Tom Ahrens, Charles George Sammis and himself, 12 February 1968; copy letter from McKenzie to Don Lynn Anderson, Director, Seismological Laboratory, Caltech, briefly describing his intention of co-writing a paper with Orson [?Orson LaMar Anderson] on anharmonic calculation, and his intention of using seismograms to disentangle the fault planes around the Mediterranean, 16 February 1968; Pembroke J Hart, Geophysics Board, National Research Council of the United States of America, Washington, USA, keen that McKenzie attend the forthcoming Pan-American Conference on the Upper Mantle Project and willing to pay his travel expenses, 17 February 1968; Max Wyss, [PhD student at Caltech], asking McKenzie to be his best man at his wedding in June, 18 February 1968; John Sclater, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, detailing changes to a joint paper on Pacific ridges, with copy letter to Dr Gene Simmons, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, apologising for the delay and sending the paper to be included in the reports of the 1967 IUGG symposium, 20 February 1968; copy letter from McKenzie to Dr I Herrera, Instituto de Geofisica, Mexico, confirming that he will attend the Pan-American Conference on the Upper Mantle Project with abstract of the paper "Convection in the Earth's Mantle" which he will be presenting, 26 February 1968; Owen Martin Phillips, Professor of Geophysical Mechanics, Department of Mechanics, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, keen to meet up with McKenzie at the forthcoming AGU meeting to discuss the possibility of his joining the Mechanics department at the university, 29 February 1968.






Administrative HistoryOn graduating with a PhD from the University of Cambridge in November 1966, McKenzie spent periods of the next three years as visiting fellow or associate at a number of American universities. Between January-February 1968, McKenzie was employed as a research scientist at Lamont Geological Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, New York, USA.

The file is notable for containing correspondence relating to publication of McKenzie's seminal paper on plate tectonics, written in conjunction with Robert Parker, and published as: McKenzie, D & R L Parker, "The North Pacific: an example of tectonics on a sphere", 'Nature', vol 216 (1967), pp1276-1280. Jason Morgan, Princeton University, had presented his similar ideas and research on the subject at the America Geophysical Union (AGU) conference in April 1967 and although McKenzie was present at the event he did not attend Morgan's talk as the abstract published in the conference programme (which Morgan deviated from) held no interest for him. Instead he only discovered that Morgan was working along similar lines from Bill Menard who was refereeing Morgan's paper which had been submitted to the 'Journal of Geophysical Research' [published as "Rises, trenches, great faults, and crustal blocks", JGR, vol 73 (1968), pp1959–1982]. As both parties had reached the same theory separately, McKenzie requested that 'Nature' delay the publication so that both papers could go out simultaneously in March 1968, however it had already been sent to press and was published on 30 December 1967. See also November 1967 letters in LDGSL/1107/A/1/2.
Access ConditionsAccess is by appointment only. Please contact the Archivist for further information.
ArchNoteDescription by Caroline Lam
CreatorNameMCKENZIE | Dan Peter | 1942- | geophysicist
ANDERSON | Don Lynn | 1933- | geophysicist and Director of the Seismological Laboratory, CALTECH
BULLARD | Sir | Edward 'Teddy' Crisp | 1907-1980 | marine geophysicist
DUBRIDGE | Lee Alvin | 1901-1994 | educator and physicist
HART | Pembroke J | 1929-2008 | seismologist
HESS | Harry Hammond | 1906-1969 | geologist
LIGHTHILL | Sir | [Michael] James | 1924-1998 | applied mathematician and university administrator
MORGAN | William Jason | 1935- | geophysicist
MUNK | Walter Heinrich | 1917- | oceanographer
PHILLIPS | Owen Martin | 1930-2010 | oceanographer
PHINNEY | Robert A | 1936- | geophysicist
SCLATER | John George | 1940- | marine geologist and geophysicist
STAUDER | William | 1922-2000 | seismologist
WYSS | Max | 1939- | seismologist and geophysicist
DS/UK/1192MCKENZIE; Dan Peter (1942-); geophysicist1942-
DS/UK/1211SCLATER; John George (1940-); marine geologist and geophysicist1940-
DS/UK/1223MORGAN; William Jason (1935-); geophysicist1935-
DS/UK/1196PHINNEY; Robert A (1936-); geophysicist1936-
DS/UK/1198KAULA; William Mason (1926-2000); geophysicist and geodesist1926-2000
DS/UK/1208ANDERSON; Orson LaMar (fl.1948-); geophysicistfl.1948-
DS/UK/1224MUNK; Walter Heinrich (1917-); oceanographer1917-
DS/UK/1204LIGHTHILL; Sir; [Michael] James (1924-1998); applied mathematician and university administrator1924-1998
DS/UK/864BULLARD; Sir; Edward Crisp (1907-1980); marine geophysicist1907-1980
DS/UK/1225STAUDER; William (1922-2000); seismologist1922-2000
DS/UK/1226HESS; Harry Hammond (1906-1969); geologist1906-1969
DS/UK/1227DUBRIDGE; Lee Alvin (1901-1994); educator and physici1901-1994
DS/UK/1194ANDERSON; Don Lynn (1933-); geophysicist and Director of the Seismological Laboratory, CALTECH1933-
DS/UK/1228WYSS; Max (1939-); seismologist and geophysicist1939-
DS/UK/1229PHILLIPS; Owen Martin (1930-2010); oceanographer1930-2010
DS/UK/1221PARKER; Robert Ladislav (1942-); geophysicist and mathematician1942-
DS/UK/1252HART; Pembroke J (1929-2008); seismologist1929-2008
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