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Introductory Note from Cold Wind - Two Gyres: A Tribute to Val Worthington

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Customarily the editors of a volume such as this include an overview discussion of the honoree's career. For Val Worthington, we have elected to do something different. Upon retirement, Val produced two summaries of his career, one written, one oral. Much of his funding over the years came from the Office of Naval Research, and in late 1981 he produced a contract final report, "North Atlantic Circulation and Water Mass Formation." As this summarizes a large part of his professional career, and does it much more eloquently than we could hope to, it is included here. One of the great pleasures in being around Val is hearing him tell stories. In January 1982, just before leaving Woods Hole for his winter retirement home in the Bahamas, he gave a final seminar to the Physical Oceanography Department of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. This seminar, entitled "Apologia pro vita sua", was presented from a more general point of view than the written final report, and we have therefore supplemented the report with some quotations from this seminar, as well as some additional information. It is hoped that most of the facts and events of Val's professional career have been included. It is impossible to capture the humor and style of Val Worthington on paper.

Mike McCartney

Cold Wind - Two Gyres: A Tribute to Val Worthington by a few of his friends in honor of his forty-one years of activity in oceanography.
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Biographical Notes
1938-1941 Princeton University
1941 - 1943 Technician, Woods Hole Oceanographic Insititution
1943 - 1946 U.S. Navy
1946 - 1951 Technician, Woods Hole Oceanographic Insititution
1951 - 1958 Research Associate, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
1958 - 1963 Physical Oceanographer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
1961 - 1995 Ambassador to the Court of St. James, Society of Subprofessional Oceanographers (SOSO)
1963 - 1982 Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
1974 - 1981 Chairman, Department of Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Fuglister, P. C. and L. V. Worthington. 1951. Some results of a multiple ship survey of the Gulf Stream. Tellus, 3, 1-14.

Worthington, L. V. 1953. Oceanographic results of Project SKIJUMP I and SKIJUMP II in the Polar Sea 1951-1952. Trans. Amer. Geophys. Un., 34, 543-551.

Worthington, L. V. 1953. Oceanographic studies on Project SKIJUMP IL W.H.O.I. Ref. No. 53-23.

Worthington, L. V. 1953. Oceanographic observations made from the ice island, T-3. W.H.O.I. Ref. No. 53-92.

Worthington, L. V. 1954. Three detailed cross-sections of the Gulf Stream. Tellus, 6, 116-123.

Worthington, L. V. 1954. A preliminary note on the time scale in North Atlantic circulation. Deep-Sea Res., 1, 244-251.

Worthington, L. V.1955. A new theory of Caribbean bottom-water formation. Deep-Sea Res., 3, 82-87.

Worthington, L. V. 1955. The downstream increase in volume of the Florida Current. W.H.O.I. Ref. No. 55-3.

Worthington, L. V. 1955. and W. G. Metcalf. Recent deep temperature measurements in the North American Basin. W.H.O.I. Ref. No. 55-54.

Worthington, L. V. 1956. The temperature increase in Caribbean deep water since 1933. Deep-Sea Res., 3, 234-235.

Worthington, L. V. and William E. Schevill. 1957. Underwater sounds heard from sperm whales. Nature, 180, 291.

Swallow, J. C. and L. V. Worthington. 1957. Measurements of deep currents in the western North Atlantic. Nature, 179, 1183-1184.

Worthington, L. V. 1958. Oceanographic data from the R.R.S. Discovery IT, Cruises One and Two, 1957. I.G.Y. W.H.O.I. Ref No. 58-30.

Worthington, L. V. 1959. The 18° water in the Sargasso Sea. Deep-sea Res., 5, 297-305.

Worthington, L. V. 1959. Oceanographic data from the R.R.S. Discovery II, International Geophysical Year, Cruise 3, 1958. W.H.O.I. Ref. No. 59-54.

Swallow, J. C. and L. V. Worthington. 1961. An observation of a deep countercurrent in the western North Atlantic. Deep-Sea Res., 8, 1-19.

Worthington, L. V. and W. G. Metcalf. 1961. The relationship between potential temperature and salinity in deep Atlantic water. Explor. Mer., 149, 122-128.

Worthington, L. V. 1962. Evidence for a two gyre circulation in the North Atlantic. Deep-Sea Res., 9, 51-67.

Steele, J. H., J. R. Barrett and L. V. Worthington. 1962. Deep currents south of Iceland. Deep-Sea Res., 9, 465-474.

Worthington, L. V. 1964. Anomalous conditions in the slope water area in 1959. J. Fish. Res. Bd. Canada, 21, 327-333.

Worthington, L. V. and G. H. Volkmann. 1965. The volume transport of the Norwegian Sea overflow water in the North Atlantic. Deep-Sea Res., 12, 667-676.

Backus, Richard H. and L. V. Worthington. 1965. On the existence of the seamount known as "American Scout." Deep-Sea Res., 12, 457-460.

Worthington, L. V. 1966. Recent oceanographic measurements in the Caribbean Sea. DeepSea Res., 13, 731-739.

Worthington, L. V. 1968. Genesis and evolution of water masses. Meteorol. Monographs, 8, 63-67.

Webb, D. C. and L. V. Worthington. 1968. Measurements of vertical water movement in the Cayman Basin. Deep-Sea Res., 15, 609-612.

Worthington, L. V. 1969. An attempt to measure the volume transport of Norwegian Sea overflow water through the Denmark Strait. Deep-Sea Res., Supplement to 16, 421-432.

Swallow, J. C. and L. V. Worthington. 1969. Deep currents in the Labrador Sea. Deep-Sea Res., 16, 77-84.

Worthington, L. V. 1970. The Norwegian Sea as a Mediterranean basin. Deep-Sea Res., 17, 77-84.

Worthington, L. V. and W. R. Wright. 1970. North Atlantic Ocean Atlas of potential temperature and salinity in the deep water, including temperature, salinity, and oxygen profiles from the Erika Dan cruise of 1962. Woods Hole Oceanogr. Inst. Atlas Ser., 2.

Wright, W. R. and L. V. Worthington. 1970. The water masses of the North Atlantic Ocean - A volumetric census of temperature and salinity. Serial Atlas of the Mar. Environ., Folio 19, American Geographical Society, 8 pp., 7 plates.

Worthington, L. V. 1971. Water circulation in the Caribbean Sea and its relationship to North Atlantic circulation. Symposium on Investigations and Resources of the Caribbean Sea and Adjacent Regions, Curacao, 1968; UNESCO, Paris.

Worthington, L. V. and W. R. Wright. 1971. Discussion of a paper by X. Le Pichon, S. Eittreim, and J. Ewing, "A Sedimentary Channel along Gibbs Fracture Zone." J. Geophys. Res., 76, 6606-6608.

Worthington, L. V. 1972. Anticyclogenesis in the oceans as a result of outbreaks of continental polar air, in Studies in Physical Oceanography - A tribute to Georg Wüst on his 80th birthday, Vol. 1, A. L. Gordon, ed., Gordon & Breach, New York, 169-178.

Worthington, L. V. 1972. Negative oceanic heat flux as a cause of water-mass formation. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 2, 205-21 1.

Worthington, L. V. and Hideo Kawai. 1972. Comparison between deep sections across the Kuroshio and the Florida Current and Gulf Stream, in KUROSHIO - its Physical Aspects, H. Stommel and K. Yoshida, eds., University of Toyko Press, 371-385.

Bunker, Andrew F. and L. V. Worthington. 1976. Energy exchange charts of the North Atlantic Ocean. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., 57, 670-678.

Worthington, L. V. 1976. On the North Atlantic circulation. The Johns Hopkins Oceanogr. Stud., 6, 110 pp.

Worthington, L. V. 1977. The case for near-zero production of Antarctic Bottom Water. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 41, 1001-1006.

Worthington, L. V. 1977. The intensification of the Gulf Stream after the winter of 19761977. Nature, 270, 415-417.

McCartney, M. S., L. V. Worthington and W. J. Schmitz, Jr. 1978. Large cyclonic rings from the northeast Sargasso Sea. J. Geophys. Res., 83, 901-914.

Richardson, P. L., R. E. Cheney and L. V. Worthington. 1978. A census of Gulf Stream rings, spring 1975. J. Geophys. Res., 83, 6136-6144.

McCartney, M. S., L. Valentine Worthington and Mary E. Raymer. 1980. Anomalous water mass distributions at 55W in the North Atlantic in 1977. J. Mar. Res., 38, 147-172.

Worthington, L. V. 1980. The water masses of the world ocean: some results of a fine-scale census, in Evolution of Physical Oceanography, Scientific Surveys in Honor of Henry Stommel, Bruce A. Warren and Carl Wunsch, eds., the MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 42-69, copyright 1981.

Whitehead, J. A., Jr. and L. V. Worthington. 1982. The flux and mixing rates of Antarctic Bottom Water within the North Atlantic. J. Geophys. Res., 87, 7903-7924.

Worthington, L. V. 1982. On the loss of dissolved oxygen in Nansen bottle samples from the deep Atlantic Ocean. Deep-Sea Res., 29, 1259-1266.

Last updated: January 14, 2009

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