Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Mariana Trench

James Gardner of the UNH Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and the Joint Hydrographic Center added an unusual credential to his CV this summer when he signed over rights to Warner Bros. Entertainment for one of his images of the Mariana Trench. The image, taken during an August-October 2010 underwater survey of the deepest gash in the Earth’s surface, was used in a montage sequence in the summer movie “Godzilla,” and while it’s not the first time images from that survey were licensed to other organizations, “Godzilla” was the survey’s—and Gardner’s—first outright star turn. “I was very surprised, and then pleased, that one of our images was to appear in the new movie,” says Gardner. “The advanced technology we used during the Mariana Trench survey allowed us to map the seafloor at a much higher resolution than previous efforts.” The 2010 effort yielded not only highly accurate maps of the western Pacific seafloor but also the most precise estimate to date of the depth of the Challenger Deep, the deepest spot on Earth, measuring around 10,984 meters (36,028 feet).

Originally published by:

UNH Magazine, Fall 2014 Issue

Image by James Gardner

  • Written By:

    Staff writer | Communications and Public Affairs