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Mohorovicic, Andrija

crust earth’s university denser

[mohho roh vuhchich] (1857–1936) Croatian geophysicist: discovered the boundary between the Earth’s crust and the mantle.

A talented young man who spoke eight languages when he was 15 years of age, Mohorovicic was educated at the University of Prague, being appointed professor at the Zagreb Technical School in 1891, and later at Zagreb University. In 1909, while studying a nearby earthquake, Mohorovicic discovered that the P and S waves from it were each of two types, with one of each pair having, he decided, travelled through deeper and denser rocks and arrived before waves travelling through the Earth’s crust. He realized that the Earth’s crust must therefore overlay a denser mantle, and measured the depth to this transition (the Mohorovicic discontinuity, or ‘Moho’) to be about 30 km. This corresponds to the thickness of the continental crust. The depth of the Moho has now been extensively mapped using reflection seismic techniques and is known to vary between only 10 km under the oceans and about 50 km at some places beneath the continents.

Moissan, (Ferdinand Frederic) Henri [next] [back] Modern Times (1936) - Overview, Synopsis, Critique

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