Reconstructing Columbus’s first transatlantic track and landfall using climatological winds and currents
MetadataShow full item record
An article in the November 1986 National Geographic magazine examined the question of Columbus's first landfall in the Americas. The author, Luis Marden, was the first to quantitatively include the effects of the winds and currents in reconstructing the transoceanic portion of the voyage. There seemed, however, to be two major weaknesses in his analysis. First, the leeway effect on the ship by the wind was ignored for that portion of the voyage west of 40W, the whole second half of the voyage. Second, currents from pilot charts were used with the corresponding speed determined by the prevailing current. We sought to reanalyze the track using the leeway effect for the whole transatlantic track and using more appropriate average vector velocities of the current. Using climatological winds and currents we found the island of San Salvador (Watling Island) to be the most likely site of the first landfall of Columbus. This paper discusses the effects of wind, current, leeway, and magnetic variation on the determination of the landfall.
Suggested CitationTechnical Report: Goldsmith, Roger A., Richardson, Philip L., "Reconstructing Columbus’s first transatlantic track and landfall using climatological winds and currents", 1987-11, DOI:10.1575/1912/4341, https://hdl.handle.net/1912/4341
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Crustal structure of the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) segment (Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 26°10′N) : implications for the nature of hydrothermal circulation and detachment faulting at slow spreading ridges Canales, J. Pablo; Sohn, Robert A.; deMartin, Brian J. (American Geophysical Union, 2007-08-09)New seismic refraction data reveal that hydrothermal circulation at the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) hydrothermal field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 26°10′N is not driven by energy extracted from shallow or mid-crustal ...
The Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse hydrothermal field : a hydrothermal system on an active detachment fault Humphris, Susan E.; Tivey, Margaret K.; Tivey, Maurice A. (2015-02)Over the last ten years, geophysical studies have revealed that the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) hydrothermal field (26°08’N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge) is located on the hanging wall of an active detachment fault. ...
Microearthquake evidence for reaction-driven cracking within the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse active hydrothermal deposit Pontbriand, Claire W.; Sohn, Robert A. (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-03-19)We detected 32,078 very small, local microearthquakes (average ML = −1) during a 9 month deployment of five ocean bottom seismometers on the periphery of the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse active mound. Seismicity rates were ...