Oceanography has been defined as “The application of all sciences to the study of the sea”.
Before the nineteen century, scientists with an interest in the sea were few and far between. Certainly Newton considered some theoretical aspects of it in his writings, but he was reluctant to go to sea to further his work.
For most people the sea was remote, and with the exception of early intercontinental travelers or others who earned a living from the sea, there was little reason to ask many questions about it, let alone to ask what lay beneath the surface. The first time that question “What is at the bottom of the oceans?” had tobe answered with any commercial consequence was when the laying of a telegraph cable from Europe to America was proposed. The had to know the depth profile(起伏形状)of the route to estimate the length of cable that had to be manufactured.mote, and with the exception of early intercontinental travelers or others who earned a living from the sea, there was little reason to ask many questions about it, let alone to ask whatlay beneath the surface. The first time that question “What is at the bottom of the oceans?” had to be answered with any commercial consequence was when the laying of a telegraph cable from Europe to America was proposed. The engineers had to know the depth profile(起伏形状)of the route to estimate the length of cable that had to be manufactured.
It was to Maury of the US Navy that the Atlantic Telegraph Company turned, in 1853, for information on this matter. In the 1840s, Maury had been responsible for encouraging voyages during which soundings(测身) were taken to investigate the depths of the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Later, some of his findings aroused much popular interest in his book The Physical Geography of the Sea.
The cable was laid, but not until 1866 was the connection made permanent and reliable. At the early attempts, the cable failed and when it was taken out for repairs it was found to be covered in living growths, afact which defied contemporary scientific opinion that there was no life in the deeper parts of the sea.
Within a few years oceanography was under way. In 1872 Thomson led a scientific expedition(考察), which lasted for four years and brought home thousands of samples from the sea. Their classification and analysis occupied scientists for years and led to a five-volume report, the last volume being published in 1895.
Choose correct answers to the question:
1. The proposal to lay a telegraph cable from Europe to America made oceanographic studies take on ______.
A. an academic aspect
B. a military aspect
C. a business aspect
D. an international aspect
2. It was ______ that asked Maury for help in oceanographic studies.
A. the American Navy
B. some early intercontinental travelers
C. those who earned a living from the sea
D. the company which proposed to lay an undersea cable
3. The aim of the voyages Maury was responsible for in the 1840s was ______.
A. to make some sounding experiments in the oceans
B. to collect samples of sea plants and animals
C. to estimate the length of cable that was needed
D. to measure the depths of the two oceans
4. “Defied” in the 5th paragraph probably means “______”.
B. gave proof to
D. agreed to
5. This passage is mainly about ______.
A. the beginnings of oceanography
B. the laying of the first undersea cable
C. the investigation of ocean depths
D. the early intercontinental communications
1.[C] 亊实判断题。文章第3段第2句提到，这个问題的解答是具有商业结果的。C中的business为原文中commercial 同义改写，故选C。
2.[D] 细节题。文章第4段首句为一个强调句，强调的是宾语。题干也是一个强调句型，但强调的是主语。如果把原文的强调句型改为一般的句型，就知道向Maury寻求帮助的是the Atlantic Telegraph Company.故答案为D。A是Maury的工作单位，可以排除;原文只提到对于一些早期的穿越洲际的旅行家和依靠海洋维持生计的人，海洋并不遥远，故B、C与题意不符。
5.[A] 主旨题。通读全文可知，oceanography(海洋学)是全文的中心词，本文主要讲述海洋学是如何起步的，故答案为A 。B、C只表述了原文中个別细节，并非主题;D跟全文无关。