While steam has been said to make a ship independent of wind and tide, it is still true that a long voyage even by steam must be planned so as to encounter the least resistance possible from prevailing winds and permanent currents, and this involves the application of oceanographical and meteorological knowledge.
The most important were: the Australian Antarctic expedition of 1911-4 under Sir Douglas Mawson; the Danish Oceanographical expeditions in the Mediterranean and adjacent seas of 1908-10; a short cruise made by Sir John Murray and Dr. Johan Hjort in the Norwegian Fishery exploring vessel " Michael Sars " in 1910, the general results of which were published as The Depths of the Ocean (1912) by the leaders of the expedition; and a short special cruise made by the " Scotia " in 1913 (after the loss of the " Titanic ") under the leadership of Dr. Matthews, which made observations upon the distribution of ice in the North Atlantic.
Its work is primarily that of the investigation of the fisheries of northern Europe, but its general methods are oceanographical, and its published results have formed an immense contribution to the science.
An entirely new project was an international survey of the Mediterranean and adjacent seas, from the fishery and oceanographical standpoints, by France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, but in 1921 no definite programme had been put in operation.
On the whole, oceanographical research was being taken up most actively in Europe, but much important work was also begun in America, for instance the fine hydrographical research in the Pacific by the Scripps Institute of the university of California.
Little change occurred subsequently to 1910 with regard to the methods of oceanographical investigation except a continual refinement and an increasing improvement in the apparatus used: in this direction the activities of the Central Bureau of the International Council were very noteworthy.
It is proper, however, to point out at once how very complicated may be the relationships between oceanographical and strictly biological phenomena, though, of course, the latter are ultimately dependent on the former.
Given, then, that the variations in tide-generating force are big enough, the periods when the maxima occur will be critical with regard to oceanographical and meteorological phenomena.
The telegraph cable companies were quick to apply and to extend the oceanographical methods useful in cable-laying, and to their practical acuteness many of the most important improvements in apparatus are due.
The efforts of individual scientific workers cannot as a rule produce such results in oceanography as in other sciences, but exceptions are found in the very special services rendered by the prince of Monaco, who founded the Oceanographical Institute in Paris and the Oceanographical Museum in Monaco; and by Professor Alexander Agassiz in the investigation of the Pacific.
1910 with the avowed intention of carrying out oceanographical work in the South Atlantic and of proceeding round Cape Horn to Bering Strait, where he proposed to repeat Nansen's drift across the Arctic sea from a more easterly starting-place.
Thorvald Nilsen with nine men, sailed for an oceanographical circumnavigation, with Buenos Aires as the first port of call.
The " Aurora " returned to Commonwealth Bay on Dec. 13 1913, and after taking the base party on board made another voyage to Queen Mary Land and carried out valuable oceanographical work on the way back to Hobart.
2 (Kristiania 1915), contains oceanographical investigations in the Barents and Greenland seas.