The development of marine geology is associ-ated with the names of many well-known scientists like P.LBezrukov, A.P.Lisitzin, G.B.Udintsev, S.LSolov'ev, A.A.Geodekyan, L.P.Zonenshain, L.I.Lobkovsky, A.I'.Zhuze, Kh.M.Saidova, E.A.Ostrournov, M.V.KIenova, Yu.P.Neprochnov, A.V.Zhivago, A.A.Aksenov, O.G.Sorokhtin, I.O.Murdmaa, G.N.Baturin, N.S.Skornyakova, E.A.Romankevich, Yu.A.Bcgdanov, I.I.Volkov, M.S.Barash and many others. Systematic studies of the World Ocean's bottom relief are conducted at the Institute to compile and to improve bathymetric, physiographic and geomorphologic maps of the ocean. Several atlases, including the international ones, have been pub-lished; more than 100 geographic discoveries have been made. The ridges of Shirshov, and East Indian; the rises of Shatsky, Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Oceanology, Ob, Lena; the Zenkovich swell; the Vityaz trench, the seamounts o;' Isakov, Bogorov, Bezrukov, Petelin, Afanasiy Nikitin and many others have appeared on the world oceans maps. The World Ocean's maximum depth of 11,022 m has been measured in the Mariana Trench. The Institute's scientists were the first in our country to accept and successfully develop a new theory - the plate tectonics theory. A new concept of the two-layer plate tectonics was developed, the first tectonic maps for the former USSR territory were constructed, paleoreconstructions of the positions of the continents and oceans in the geological past were msde more precise.
The Institute has undertaken studies of a natural phenomenon of which nobody knew until recently - hydrothermal activity on the ocean floor, in the rift zones of the mid-ocean ridges, and its associated ore formation. The first hydrothermal manifestations on the ocean floor were recorded by the Institute's expeditions as far back as the late 1950s when metalliferous sediments rich in iron were sampled from the crest of the East Pacific Rise. It had been long before hydrothermal sources were found by tlie foreign researchers in the Galapagos Rift zone. By the moment, systemat-ic research into hydrothermal manifestations with the aid of "PISCES" and "MIR" submersibles have embraced many key regions in the system of the mid-ocean ridges and back-arc spreading zones. A number of new hydrothermal fields with sul-phide ore manifestations and quite unusual faunal communities have been discovered.
The Institute leads in the studies of oceanic iron-manganese nodules and crusts, ores potential for Mn, Ni,Co, Cu and possibly for platinoids and phosphorites. The laws governing the distribution of these ore man-ifestations in the World Ocean were elucidated, their chemical and min-eral compositions were studied in detail and original concepts of ore genesis were worked out. The concept of phosphorite formation in the upwelling zones first developed by G.N.Baturin is now gen-erally recognized.
Micropaleontological studies are successfully carried out at the Institute. In combination with the isotopic analyses of ocean sediments that were first employed in Russia they form the basis for stratigraphic, paleooceanological, paleoecological and paleoclimatic reconstructions and, finally, for the studies of the world oceans' geological history.
A new scientific field, geoecology of the shelf, has been created to handle with the problems pertinent to anthropogenic effects on the geological processes in the coastal zone and prevention of conse-quences harmful for the environment.