Journal cover Journal topic
History of Geo- and Space Sciences An open-access journal
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 0.294 IF 0.294
  • IF 5-year value: 0.340 IF 5-year 0.340
  • CiteScore value: indexed CiteScore indexed
  • SNIP value: indexed SNIP
    indexed
  • SJR value: indexed SJR
    indexed
  • IPP value: indexed IPP
    indexed
Volume 9, issue 1
Hist. Geo Space. Sci., 9, 85-103, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hgss-9-85-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Special issue: Developments in the science and history of tides (OS/ACP/HGSS/NPG/SE...

Hist. Geo Space. Sci., 9, 85-103, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hgss-9-85-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Review article 31 May 2018

Review article | 31 May 2018

The tidal measurements of James Cook during the voyage of the Endeavour

Philip L. Woodworth1 and Glen H. Rowe2 Philip L. Woodworth and Glen H. Rowe
  • 1National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool, UK
  • 2Land Information New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand

Abstract. The main priority of the first of James Cook's famous voyages of discovery was the observation of the transit of Venus at Tahiti. Following that, he was ordered to embark on a search for new lands in the South Pacific Ocean. Cook had instructions to record as many aspects of the environment as possible at each place that he visited, including the character of the tide. This paper makes an assessment of the quality of Cook's tidal observations using modern knowledge of the tide, and with an assumption that no major tidal changes have taken place during the past two and half centuries. We conclude that Cook's tidal measurements were accurate in general to about 0.5ft (15cm) in height and 0.5h in time. Those of his findings which are less consistent with modern insight can be explained by the short stays of the Endeavour at some places. Cook's measurements were good enough (or unique enough) to be included in global compilations of tidal information in the 18th century and were used in the 19th century in the construction of the first worldwide tidal atlases. In most cases, they support Cook's reputation as a good observer of the environment.

Publications Copernicus
Special issue
Download
Short summary
This paper discusses the quality of James Cook’s tidal measurements during the voyage of the Endeavour. We conclude that his measurements were accurate in general to about 0.5 ft in height and 30 min in time. They were good enough (or unique enough) to be included in global compilations of tidal information in the 18th century and were used in the 19th century in the construction of the first worldwide tidal atlases. They support Cook’s reputation as a good observer of the environment.
This paper discusses the quality of James Cook’s tidal measurements during the voyage of the ...
Citation
Share