People Directory : Carl O. Bowin

Carl O. Bowin

Carl O. Bowin

Scientist Emeritus

Geology & Geophysics

Office Phone: +1 508 289 2572

Fax: +1 508 457 2187

WHOI Mailing Address:

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

266 Woods Hole Rd.

MS# 24

Woods Hole, MA 02543-1050


B.S., California Institute of Technology, 1955
M.S., Northwestern University, 1957
Ph.D., Princeton University, 1960

Research Interests

Tectonics of the Earth and global planetary structural comparisons of the Earth, Moon, Venus, Mars, and now Mercury.  Published in 2010 that the Earth’s tectonic plates accelerate/decelerate at rates 100 million times slower than their velocities (maximum of about 10 cm/year), and that all plates together conserve angular momentum.  Thus, the Earth’s energy for plate tectonics and earthquakes is bounded.  In 1981 submitted NASA’s first proposal to utilize satellite signals to measure plate motions, and conducted early measurements in northern Caribbean.  In 1962 I installed the first digital computer on a ship in the world (a leased $1.5 Million factory control system).  It was used for real-time processing and display of navigation, bathymetry, gravity and magnetic anomaly data.  I was hired in 1961 to initiate the WHOI marine gravity program, although I had never had a course in geophysics.  Unbeknownst to me then, that rare occurrence took place to meet a secret U. S. Navy project need for the accurate launching of ICBM missles from submarines.