Oral History Transcript — Dr. George D. Garland
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Interview with Dr. George D. Garland
George D. Garland; February 18, 1993
ABSTRACT: Early experiences; study of geophysics at the University of Toronto (1943–1947, BAsc 1947), Master's degree, University of Toronto (M.A. 1948), influence of Arthur Brant, Lachalan Gilcrest, Burton, John Satterly, J. Tuzo Wilson, and Watson. Employment by Dominion Observatory. Doctorate in geophysics, University of St. Louis (1949–1951, Ph.D. 1951). Work on magnetic field and gravitational field mapping. Lecturer at Toronto (1949–1952) and Geophysicist at Dominion Observatory (1952–1954). Study of the relation of gravitational and magnetic anomalies in Geophysics; gravimetry. Cratering disputes in geophysics and the work of Carl Beals, Harrision, and Hodgson. Professor at Alberta (1954–1960) and Toronto (1963–199?). Use of seismic studies to measure explosions. Roles of funding agencies. Tenure as Secretary-General of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics.
Doel:I know that you were born June 29, 1926, but I don't know much else about your parents or about your early life. Who were your parents and what did they do?
Garland:My father was a graduate of this university, actually, in civil engineering. He graduated in 1890. My father was rather elderly when I was born and he has been dead many years now, but he did have fascinating stories about the University of Toronto in the late 1880s. He was of English descent, but a family that had been in Canada for three generations in various parts of southern Ontario. My mother was born in Columbus, Ohio of Canadian parents. During the depression of the 1890s many Canadians went to the United States to seek work and she happened to have been born in Columbus, Ohio. She was of Scottish descent.
I am probably typical southern Ontario product of English-Scottish descent. We lived on what was then the outskirts of Toronto in semi-rural surroundings, although it's well within the city now. My high school was an institution not too far from where we're sitting-the University of Toronto Schools. The university ran a model high school in order to study methods of teaching high school. It had and still has a reputation of high academic standards. I enjoyed my high school experience.
Doel:I want to get back to your high school experience in just a moment. I am wondering in your early home life-did your father talk to you often about his own work in civil engineering? Did you get a feeling for what he did?
Garland:Yes. The interesting thing is that in those days there was not this sharp distinction between architecture and civil engineering. Although his training was mostly in civil engineering, he actually designed a number of houses around Toronto. He worked as a architect which would be frowned upon today because that's a different stream of profession. Some of the houses he designed are still standing in Toronto.
Doel:Did you remember reading much science as you were growing up?
Garland:Yes, I was always interested in science; in physics in particular, less so of chemistry. I did dabble in photography in some of the early processes of color photography. I came to know about filters and primary colors and things like that; solutions and lenses. I did make a fairly thorough study of photography.
Doel:How did you do that? Did you develop it on your own or were there others who shared your interest?
Garland:We had a camera club in my high school, but I also subscribed to the magazines of the day-Popular Photography and a magazine called the Camera which was a very good one but hasn't been produced for many years. Things like color rendition and optical quality became fairly well known.
Doel:So you were getting hands-on, tacit experience with instruments.
Garland:Yes, that's right.
Doel:When you mentioned your interest in physics, do you remember any particular texts that you read that seemed influential?
Garland:At the high school level?
Garland:I honestly cannot remember the text as much as the teachers. We had some excellent science teachers at this high school we went to and they encouraged individual experiment and working on one's own and going well beyond the curriculum. We did things in science and in particular mathematics that were way outside the regular curriculum.
Doel:What sorts of things were way out?
Garland:Experiments of photography in the camera club were one thing. In particular mathematics at UTS. The students entering university in those days who wanted to get an entrance scholarship had to write an examination which became very notorious, called "Problems." It was an examination in mathematics well beyond the usual curriculum. At UTS we used to have special sessions with our math teachers in order to prepare those who were thinking of writing for a scholarship-and we would get extra coaching and be encouraged to try problems that were beyond the curriculum.
Doel:When you say that do you mean beyond the calculus?
Garland:Yes. They were tricky little questions-sort of byways of mathematics that you had to tackle. The unusual thing on this examination was that a very good student might get thirty out of a hundred or so and if you got over twenty you were pretty well assured of getting a scholarship. It was that kind of paper.
Doel:What do you recall about interactions with those teachers? Was this also outside of the classroom?
Garland:Yes, particularly in the sciences. We often would go. If I had a problem in something that I was doing at home on an experiment I would go to one of my science masters after class and talk. It was an all boy's school then. It has been co-educational for the last five or ten years, but it was a boy's school and all our masters were men. There was quite a camaraderie interaction.
Doel:There were also laboratories in physics and chemistry?
Garland:Yes. They were a strong part of the curriculum.
Doel:You mentioned some of the teachers-do you recall any in particular that really had an influence on you?
Garland:Our physics master was a Colonel Cline, who has been dead many years. He had been a signals officer in World War I and he was very interested in communication. We would often talk to him about his experiences in World War I and laying telephone lines and primitive radio linkups. He was also adept in photography. I think he had done some photographic recognizance from balloons in World War I. These were vivid experiences. The other master that I remember was Mr. Grainger, our chemistry master. At UTS, as a model school, was frequently visited by student teachers. We would often have a lecture form a young lady or young man who was in training to be a teacher.
The masters were also very aware that UTS had a very good record of their students winning scholarships. They were always very alert in case the student teacher would give a wrong impression. I can still remember Mr. Grainger sitting up on a high stool at the back of the laboratory when some young lady was trying to give a chemistry lecture and he would simply take it as long as he could and then he would jump up on his feet and say, "She's making a mess of that-don't write any of that down-if you're writing for a scholarship don't say what she says."
Garland:Yes. As I say, it was a math-science environment with strong emphasis on math and science.
Doel:When you mentioned your interest in photography was it more scientific photography or did it involve general pursuits?
Garland:I was interested in the processing and color renditions and so on, but it was not technical photography. I did still-lifes, landscapes, and was also interested in birds. I did a fair number of birds at their nests, working from blinds and remote control. I had fairly broad interest in the subject matter.
Doel:And the laboratories for doing this were at the school?
Garland:We had a pretty well-equipped darkroom and that was run by the camera club. The students themselves ran it and set rules for not splashing hypo on the floor and things like that. We had access to the darkroom after school. I had my own darkroom at home, too.
Doel:The color darkroom was, I imagine, limited to the school?
Garland:I did that at home. They were fairly primitive efforts in those days.
Doel:Still, it was rather early to be doing that. Did you have an interest in geology at the time?
Garland:Strangely enough, no. Not very much. I was always interested in the Canadian north and the woods. I spent every summer camping in northern Ontario and then when I was in my teens I worked as a canoe trip guide at a summer camp. I think one of the things that directed me into geophysics was it seemed to offer the opportunity of working in the outside and particularly in the north. I think my interest in the earth came through that route rather than geology per se.
Doel:Did you have brothers and sisters?
Garland:I was the youngest of four; two sisters and one brother, none of which were interested in science.
Doel:I was going to ask you about that. Did you have other friends who shared your interest in high school in the sciences?
Garland:Oh yes. There were quite a group of us in high school, some of whom came to the same program in university that I came to. I guess there were about six from UTS that came into the same course, which was engineering physics. That was a program in engineering which was supposed to offer more-and it still does-fundamental mathematics and physics than any of the other courses in engineering. It was a kind of elite program in engineering.
Doel:This was, of course, when you entered the University of Toronto.
Doel:I just want to ask you, before we talk about the university years, if there was a choice in your mind of other schools that you were thinking of going to? Had your path been set towards Toronto?
Garland:I gave very little thought at the undergraduate level of any university other than Toronto. When I entered university in 1943 the other universities in Ontario were not nearly as well known even at the undergraduate level. I guess the only one offering a comparable program would be McGill in Montreal. I gave very little consideration of going anywhere other than Toronto.
Doel:How did the war effect the university when you entered in 1943?
Garland:The effects of war were very obvious. There were fewer men students except in the sciences. They were given exemption if they were in a science program, but there were very few men in other programs of the university. We had lectures at odd hours to try to reduce load on the public transit system. We had double daylight saving time to reduce the use of hydro. There were many, many troops around the university and some of them were billeted in under-used university dormitories. There were people in uniform everywhere and even when you went to get your lunch you would find yourself lining up with people in uniform.
The effect of the war was very obvious and it was very obvious just after my time when returning veterans came back to university with government support and completely overloaded the facilities of the university in engineering. The university had to set up a special program called AJAX-after a British cruiser-some twenty miles outside of Toronto. I was not part of that but a number of friends of mine who went through just after my time got their engineering training at this rural campus. There were so many veterans that wanted to do engineering and the university couldn't handle them on this campus.
Doel:Why do you feel that the engineering/physics had such strong appeal to people who had come back?
Garland:The people coming back-that was a strong appeal for engineering in general. I didn't restrict that to engineering physics. All programs in engineering were extremely full with returning people. The appeal of engineering physics is that in our first two years we were given essentially the same mathematics and physics as the majors in the Faculty of Arts in Mathematics and Physics. In addition to that we got some fundamental engineering courses. We were supposed to be exposed to the best of both academic math and physics, and applied science.
Doel:That makes sense. When you entered the program-when you think back to the early years at the university-what did you think might be the career choice? What did you and your colleagues see as-what did most of the people who had this degree on a bachelor's level do with it?
Garland:Engineering/physics at that time-and still today-has a common two years and then in third year you have to select an option for your third and fourth year. One of the options was in particle physics; one was in aeronautical engineering which is a separate program now. One was in refrigerator and thermodynamics and one was in geophysics. Geophysics had never attracted a very large number of people. I guess about my second year I thought that because of my interest in the north and the outdoors, geophysics would be an interesting program and I started to make inquiries about it. It turned out that I was the only person in my year to choose that option. I was influence by a former professor here-Arthur Brant. This was before Wilson had come back from the army or had come here. He was not here before the war.
Doel:He was appointed in 1946.
Garland:That's right. About 1944 I started to investigate the geophysics option and it had been established by someone that Wilson has mentioned to you-Lachlan Gilchrist. Gilchrist had just retired and the program was being operated by Arthur Brant who was really one of the pioneers in Canada in mining exploration geophysics. I found Brant very inspiring and very encouraging. It was really from conversations with him that I decided to go into geophysics.
Doel:What sort of man was Brant?
Garland:He is still living as far as I know. He is a very dynamic man. He also was a University of Toronto graduate and grew up in Toronto. He was educated for his Ph.D. in Berlin. He coached the German National Hockey Team for the 1936 Olympics, although I don't think he had any particular fascist leanings. He was a very vigorous man; a good physicist. He was well grounded in electromagnetism and gravity, but very interested in the commercial applications and well aware of the problems of exploration in Canada where you have a layer of glacial drift and difficult access on the ground. He was determined to perfect airborne methods particularly of an electromagnetic exploration.
He realized that a lot of operators in the field at that time were not well based in physics. They were, for example, using very much too high frequencies and not getting penetration into the ground. He was determined to perfect methods that could be used for exploration in difficult conditions. Of course he later became very successful in that with Newmont in Arizona.
Even when I first knew him I can still remember him in early lectures discussing some of the problems. For example, how do you find disseminated grains of conducting material such as sulfides in porphyry coppers. None of the methods existing at that time based on electroconductivity would detect dissociated grains of conductors. He gave us some hints of things that he thought should be tried and these were precisely what induced polarization is, where one uses a transient and charges these individual grains and looks for the decay of the signal. That is precisely IP or induced polarization. He was discussing that to us as undergraduates in 1945 and it was probably 1960 before it was actually perfected.
Doel:What sort of courses was he teaching at that time?
Garland:Geophysics as applied to mining exploration. We had another course by Professor Hodgson on geophysics as applied to petroleum exploration. The great lack at that time, before Wilson came back, was that we had really nothing on global geophysics or whole earth geophysics or even fundamental seismology. The courses were very much directed toward exploration.
Doel:Was Gilchrist already retired through the whole thing?
Garland:Gilchrist was still coming in when I was an undergraduate, but he was a professor emeritus. I never had him as an active professor.
Doel:Did you have informal meetings with people like Brant?
Garland:Yes, very much so. Brant was looking for people to work with him in the summer and we had many discussions about that. Also I think I did a little bit of computing for Gilchrist in the last years of his life, so there were many opportunities for interaction.
Doel:Did you actually do that?
Garland:It was a pretty small group of undergraduates. I was the only student in the geophysics option of engineering physics, but that didn't mean that Brant lectured to me alone. There were students who had come through the arts and science physics who were interested in geophysics. There were graduate students who wanted to take a fourth year undergraduate course to broaden their background. We had a class for about twelve people. I happened to be the only one through the engineering physics route.
Doel:Do you remember any of the others in particular?
Garland:My fellow students? Yes, I still see some of them. Some of have been killed. Some were killed in accidents in the course of geophysical work. Perce Grader became the petroleum commissioner for Israel and was killed in a plane accident after he went to Israel. A number of colleagues of mine went to work with Brant at Newmont and became quite well known. Perhaps the best known of my contemporaries here in Toronto is Harry Seigel.
He founded his own company-Scintrex to make geophysical instruments and to do contract surveys. That's been a very successful enterprise. Many went into oil companies. Some went to government surveys. Some went to mining companies. The Canadian community is small enough that it's not too difficult to keep track of people-the Canadian scientific community. I guess in the years I was an undergraduate here-and I came back to do my Master's degree here-there were probably about twenty-five of us that came to know each other fairly well.
Doel:Did you actually go with Brant on geophysical summer camps?
Garland:I never went with Brant in the summers. I think I did some interpretation or computing for him on some of his projects at the time.
Doel:Your work at the time was, in a large part, mathematics? You mentioned that you did some computing for Gilchrist.
Garland:Yes, computing of magnetic effects of hypothetical structures and similar sorts of calculations with Brant. I had the opportunity of doing some summer work with Brant, but I went with the federal government instead and that's how I got into gravity surveys. As an undergraduate I worked with what was then the Dominion Observatory, but is now part of the Geological Survey of Canada.
Doel:Back then, of course, it was still independent? Did you work in Ottawa?
Garland:I was based in Ottawa, but I did a good deal of field work in various parts of Canada. The headquarters was in Ottawa. When I went for my first summer with them I went and reported to the observatory which was a building you will probably see when you go to Ottawa. It was built about 1906 and was an astronomical observatory, but there was a geophysics section which simply had offices in the observatory building and which still does.
Doel:Stewart was still the director at the time you went first-depending on what year it is.
Garland:I met Stewart but he had just handed over control to Carl Beals. The place had got into a rather lackadaisical attitude under Stewart and Beals was brought in to revitalize it. He was very vigorous and went to attract new staff and to improve the apparatus and equipment, and was like a breath of fresh air.
Doel:What was the first year (summer) that you were out?
Doel:This was then after you had your B.A.?
Garland:It was indeed. As an undergraduate I continued to work as a guide on canoe trips.
Doel:I was curious in thinking back to that time, how did the relations seem to you between members of the physics department and those that were active in geophysics?
Garland:People in geophysics were looked upon with a good deal of suspicion by the members of the physics department-the pure physicists. I think they tolerated geophysics, but I don't think they felt it was really mainline physics. The physics department itself in those days was having its own troubles. The director for many years had been Professor Burton who apparently was supportive of geophysics. It was Burton who urged Arthur Brant to go to Berlin for his Ph.D. because it was felt that Berlin was the best place in geophysics in those days. Burton retired and was not replaced as head for a number of years so that the department was run by a succession of senior professors, but direction was lacking.
Doel:This is before Watson was appointed?
Garland:Yes. It was afterwards called the Interregnum and the professors who were running it were not terribly sympathetic to geophysics and probably a little suspicious of Wilson, who had just been appointed a full professor. They wondered what was going to happen.
Doel:You mentioned that part of your undergraduate training-I should be careful about that. Was Burton still director of the department during much of the time that you were there?
Garland:Yes. I think his retirement came about the time I was in my fourth year. It was during my fourth year and during my Master's year here that the department really didn't have much leadership.
Doel:I am curious about your decision to stay on at UT for the Master's program. Were you thinking of any other schools?
Garland:Yes, but it was not unusual in those days to stay on for the Master's for a number of reasons and then to seek another university for the Ph.D. The Master's degree then, and still is here, a research degree. It is not a failed Ph.D. If you have an honors undergraduate degree-and engineering physics counted as an undergraduate course-you were virtually guaranteed of getting a Master's in one academic year doing a research project and writing a thesis. During that year you had the advantage of getting into research without having to settle into a new environment at the same time and also your own professors were in a much better position to write letters of recommendation to other universities. It was felt to be worthwhile to stay on at this university for the Master's, get a taste for research and then get strong recommendations elsewhere.
Doel:Interesting. Cal Tech in geology did some similar things about the same time.
Garland:Yes. Actually my Master's degree, well my thesis, was based on the summer's gravity work in 1947 with the Dominion Observatory. I was able to write the thesis. There were very few course requirements. I was able to write the thesis by the spring of 1948. It was really only eight or nine months required for the Master's and during that winter I started to look at other universities for the Ph.D.
Doel:I want to get back to the courses and the Dominion work, but I just want to ask you first if there were any other experiences that you recall from the time you were an undergraduate at UT that you felt had an influence on your later career or that you simply were deeply involved in?
Garland:There were professors here who were influential and who I still remember. I wouldn't say they were particularly influential in my choice of geophysics, but as far as scientific method is concerned one that Wilson may have mentioned to you is John Satterly. John Satterly taught the first year advanced physics course and also the third year course. He was an Englishman and somewhat obsessed with problems that we would now call geophysical-classical physics-but very particular about the treatment of errors and the accuracy of observations.
He gave us a very, very rigorous drill in the laboratory in writing reports on how to treat errors and I found that very useful in future work. We had to consider the standard deviation of every observation that was made and independence of related observations and things. Satterly was an influence. I did not find the geology department particularly influential in my choice. I did take courses in geology, both in my fourth year and during my Master's year but I did not find the geologists very influential in those days.
Doel:What kind of courses did you take in geology?
Garland:One of the unusual things about the geophysics option of engineering physics is by the time we got to third year and chose the option, we thought we were at a pretty advanced level of mathematics and physics. Then the people who designed the program said, "Well, it would be nice to give these people some geology," but the geology department said, "You can't take any of our courses until you take Mineralogy 100." So you find yourself memorizing one hundred minerals and hand specimen. Frankly they were pretty dull. It had, really, in those years very little interest in global geology-well, the global tectonics didn't exist. They had very little interest in broad scale structure. They were more interested in examining metamorphic rocks in thin section. Those of us in geophysics found it very difficult to get much of an interest in structure, which is what we were interested in. I would say the geology department was not very influential in my choice.
Doel:Was there anyone over there who would talk to you about structural geology or was that simply not an area that any of the faculty
Garland:George Langford, who was head of the geology department for a while, had been a mining geologist with a gold mining company and was interested in structure in the classification of ore deposits according to structure, but these were pretty local structures. He classified gold deposits-those related to fractures, those related to folds and so on. I would say there was very, very little interest in even what the nature of the continental crust is or the difference between the continents and the oceans, or major faults on the continents. Virtually there was no interest in that. It was all local structure as related to ore bodies.
Doel:Do you remember reading any geological texts at the time that had any influence on you? Was that something that came up as part of these courses that, for example, the Schuckhert and Dunbar text?
Garland:Yes, but I can't honestly say that there were any that were very influential. During graduate work there were a couple on the structure of North America-Eardly was one, Structural Geology and King with a similar title. I found those interesting because for the first time these were geology texts that did talk about broad scale structure. Our previous ones had been mostly Grout's Handbook of Rocks and Ries on economic geology and Billing's Structural Geology. Again, they were mostly local structures.
Doel:How did you come across these books, say King's book? Do you recall when you found out?
Garland:I think that was after Wilson came. I think Wilson was talking about it.
Doel:One thing we haven't talked about is he came in 1946 and I gather your contacts developed very quickly?
Garland:Yes, I think we met about the day he arrived. Geophysics at that time was in an old house. I can show you when we go out to lunch. I was already in that house taking lectures from Brant and Hodgson, and Wilson arrived one day and set up an office in there. That would be in September of 1946.
Doel:He was coming out of military service. Do you remember any particular discussions with Wilson after he had arrived?
Garland:He was very enthusiastic and he would often talk to the students about what he saw for geophysics at Toronto; interest in the broad scale structure and in the Canadian Arctic. At that time he was very interested in lineaments-what could be deduced from the study of air photographs and analyzing straight lines or trends on the aerial photographs to find major faults, thrust zones and so on in the days before satellite photographs. We found this extremely inspiring that one could start thinking in terms of major structures, running right across the Canadian shield.
Doel:Did you get hands-on experience in looking aerial photographs?
Garland:Yes. I didn't do a great deal of looking at aerial photographs. Wilson had people paid as research assistants, but then as now over coffee and so on we would often gather round what was going on at the time and someone had just found a major trend from a series of air photographs and we would discuss it over coffee. He was also very well informed, of course, in what was going on elsewhere. He had friends or very rapidly made friends in the different United States institutions. He was friendly with people like Maurice Ewing and others that we had barely heard of. He fairly rapidly organized talks where people from other places would visit.
Doel:I want to get to all that, but I realize that we have to break fairly soon. Just let me ask about the air photographs before we do. What kind of interest was there in the geology department in aerial photographs? Were they used by the geologists?
Garland:They were used by the geologists to find their way around, but there was great suspicion of what Wilson was trying to do with them. They felt that many of the lines on the photographs were simply fortuitous and the only way to get ground truth was to get down on the ground. Wilson always said this was not a replacement for ground surveys, but statistically if you map a great many lineaments on a montage of photographs some of them may be fortuitous lineups but some may be real and then you can go in and look at them on the ground. There was a good deal of reluctance in the geology community over this approach.
Doel:That's interesting. Let's pause. [pause]
Doel:Before we broke we were talking about the reception of air photographs in the department of geology and the work on the Canadian Shield. Was the Shield a singular interest on the part of the geology department? Or did the mining interests on the part of many faculty tend to direct them to other localities?
Garland:The Shield was preeminent and has been for many years in this department and other Canadian university departments. At that time very few academic geologists in Canada-except in British Columbia-worked in the younger deposits. I would say that in Toronto, McGill and Queens, western Ontario, all of the established geology departments and the Geological Survey of Canada really devoted most of their attention to pre-Cambrian deposits in the Shield. The department was interested in the shield, but there were suspicions of the technique.
Doel:Clearly there were interconnections with some of the earlier aerial survey companies and other groups interested in making aerial photographs. How easy was it for the department to acquire images of the kind that you and Wilson used?
Garland:It was not difficult. You had to pay for them. Except possibly during a war they were always unclassified and you could buy for twenty-five cents or so a print of any vertical air photograph that had been made in Canada. They were all cataloged. It was not difficult to order large numbers of photographs. Wilson tried to put people on the mapping of trends, people who didn't necessarily have geological background and in particular not background of the area they were working on. He wanted it to be objective; simply statistically look for the number of features who were trending within a certain range of bearing and the length over which you could correlate a particular trend, but try to be objective in the analysis of patterns. He had probably done some of this during his research in the war, analyzing air photographs for other purposes. He had an appreciation of what could be done by just analyzing trends and patterns.
Doel:You mentioned a few moments ago that you had a number of courses that you had taken when you were here for a year taking your Master's. Do you recall those?
Garland:The course requirement for the Master's is very light. I think one is supposed to take two graduate courses. I took one in physics and I think it was simply statistical treatment of observations. I took one in geology which was called Advanced Structural Geology, but barely got into large scale structure.w
Doel:Do you recall who taught that?
Garland:That was taught by the then chairman of the geology department who came before Langford-E. S. Moore. Moore preceded Langford as chairman of the geology department.
Doel:You mentioned that when Wilson arrived that he created opportunities for talks that other people would carry through. How often did those occur? I am curious who you recall coming to visit during the years?
Garland:I may have trouble pinning the year down between my fourth year and my Master's year.
Doel:Just generally during
Garland:People I remember visiting were Don Leet from Harvard, Maurice Ewing, Harold Jeffreys from Cambridge. That was the first time I met Jeffreys and of course he was an abysmal lecturer, but a great name in geophysics. People from the group in Ottawa, from the Dominion Observatory. Dr. Tatel who worked with Merle Tuve at the Carnegie Institution. I think Tatel died subsequently, but he did crustal seismic work with Tuve. I don't remember any of the California people coming. Certainly that was the kind of person that we met-people whose names we'd heard of but had not visited Toronto before.
Doel:It sounds, from that list, that the focus was very much on solid earth geophysics.
Garland:Yes, that's right. That was the kind of person that Tuzo was interested in getting here to talk.
Doel:You mentioned Tatel and the Carnegie work. Did he talk about the Carnegie's evolving post war program?
Garland:Yes, South America and then Tatel did some work in Antarctica and of course eastern North America. Since one of my professors, John Hodgson who taught seismic exploration, had moved to the Dominion Observatory to devote himself to crustal seismology there was a good deal of interest in the Carnegie results in crustal seismology. Some of the great arguments of those days seem almost trivial today. There was not even agreement on what the P velocity was in the upper part of the crust. Earthquake seismologists-Gutenberg, Jeffreys-felt it was down around 5.6 kilometers per second and the people using artificial explosions were getting numbers like 6.0 kilometers per second. Today we would probably write this off as regional differences, but in those days people were striving to get one velocity that would apply to a homogenous layer of the crust all to the question of whether the crust was layered or whether it is mixed up like marble cake. That was also a very hot topic.
Doel:And the question of how many layers.
Garland:And some of the early Carnegie interpretations had put in many layers. Almost every point on the time distance curve was associated with a discreet layer. I think too that Tatel took a good deal of criticism from those early interpretations.
Doel:Was that generally the reaction of the department to Tatel's argument?
Garland:I think this group, because of its exposure to the pre-Cambrian where you look at a map and you say "Well, if it's that way in plan it's probably that way in section" and the fact that pre-Cambrian shield is the basement to people farther south led to the realization that it must be heterogenous. I think that has influenced Canadian interpretation in crustal seismology.
Doel:That's a very good point. Do you recall what it was that Leet had discussed when he came to visit?
Garland:Of course Leet was into crustal seismology too and he had various disputes. I think one thing he spoke about was the T phase. The T phase-and Ewing was working on the T phase, but they were not very close friends-was a wave which is from a distant earthquake which is propagated partially through the ocean and then through the continent to the receiving station. This wave appears as a wave whose amplitude does not have a sharp beginning. It actually gradually builds up to a maximum and then dies away again. Ewing had based all of his interpretations on picking the maximum amplitude. Leet with his background in crustal seismology said you should pick the onset of it.
The nature of the wave was such that you couldn't pick an onset and this was because of the mixed path. It had no very sharp beginning because it was propagated through the low velocity layer in the ocean-SOFAR channeled-the energy was concentrated on that SOFAR channel. Because it's a minimum velocity channel it doesn't arrive with a sharp beginning. I think Ewing was later vindicated in picking the maximum of the wave, but when Leet was here he was very critical of Ewing's work and said that by picking the onset of the wave he was getting very different results. I am not sure if one even does much with the T phase anymore, but at that time it was a very hot subject.
Doel:Did you have any contacts that any of the other people at Harvard who were interested in geophysics?
Garland:I later came to know Francis Birch. I think Birch may have spoken here in those early years, but any of us interested in heat flow did come to have contacts with Francis Birch.
Doel:Birch was working with Bridgman on high pressure studies.
Garland:All of us knew Bridgman by name, but I don't recall any close contacts with him.
Doel:Birch was the one who really interacted with you?
Doel:Do you recall any other large discussions from among the visitors that came in at the time and other problems that you gained exposure to?
Garland:Certainly discussions about age determinations. I may have difficulty putting a name on this because that was not really my field, but this was in the early years of radioactive geochronology. The group here, including Farquhar whom you met at coffee, were working on lead isotope age determinations. There were, of course, great discussions on whether that could be extended to give an age for the Earth as well as the age of specific lead deposits. I can remember, not so much here but at the American Geophysical Union, some extremely heated debates about whether one could extend the lead method to deduce a primeval lead isotope ratio and the age of the Earth as a separate body.
Doel:And this of course would be the late 1940s?
Doel:People like Urey?
Garland:Yes, they were into that. At the sessions of the AGU, I recall, there was something called a committee on geological time and a gentleman by the name of Marble was the chairman of that. I think because it was felt to be a little bit off-stream, their sessions were held in the evening. They were very lively. People were getting extremely discordant numbers for the age of the Earth as a body because it wasn't until meteorites were put into the equation that the numbers converged toward four and a half billion years, but I can remember some very heated discussions under Marble's chairmanship in these evening sessions.
Doel:Do you recall in those discussions that the age of the universe that the astronomer's were using at the time come into play. Their age was of course younger than what was beginning to emerge in geology for the Earth.
Garland:There was an astronomy group here at the University of Toronto, but I don't remember much interaction with astrophysical or cosmological ages. I think it was purely the terrestrial ages that were involved.
Doel:I want to ask you about your summer work you did. In particular, what tasks did you have?
Garland:We were measuring gravity with a gravimeter, and we were also measuring the magnetic field on the Earth's surface. realized very soon that the measuring of the magnetic field of the Earth's surface on the Canadian shield is rather useless. It can be done so much better from the air because of local effects. My main interest was in the gravity. The program had been devised before I joined the group in that summer, so we did some work on the prairies, some work on the Maritime provinces, some work in northern Ontario. I was allowed to take the data from northern Ontario for my Master's thesis and that was entirely on the shield, but during the same summer I did work on the western plains and in Maritime Canada. We were out in the field for four months.
Doel:A good part of the summer then?
Garland:Right. These were regional gravity surveys with stations perhaps three to four or five miles apart, preferably at places where we knew the elevation from geodetic benchmarks, but if necessary we would use aneroid barometers to get elevations for an intermediate point. I came to know George Woollard fairly well because he had been doing exactly this kind of thing in the United States, working out of Wisconsin.
Doel:He was at Wisconsin yet at the time, wasn't he?
Garland:Yes. I am trying to think if he wasn't at Georgia when I first met him. Most of the time I knew him he was at Wisconsin.
Doel:I can check on this.
Garland:Then he went to Hawaii, but I think I met him before he went to Wisconsin. He had promoted gravity surveys and in fact made the statement to the Canadian Dominion Observatory that if the observatory didn't do regional surveys in Canada he would come and do them. That was the very thing that was needed to get the budget for these surveys.
Doel:Very interesting. How much had the war influenced the design and building of gravity instruments? Clearly airborne magnetometers had been greatly influenced.
Garland:They were outcome of the war-directly Victor Vacquier at Gulf. The gravimeter, I don't think its design or technology was very much influenced by the war. I could be wrong on that. There were certainly available instruments before the war in the 1940s; big cumbersome meters developed by Carter and ESSO, the oil companies and the Humble Oil Company. The big development that came right after the war was the Worden Instrument, with its quartz system. It may be that working with quartz fibers had been developed for some purpose during the war. I am not sure of that. I don't think gravity itself was considered of very strategic importance the way it would be in the post-war years with the space geometry interest.
Doel:You mentioned Carl Beals when he came in as director. His experience at the time had been at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and was not in geophysical fields. I was wondering what you saw of the way that he managed the observatory in that time?
Garland:He had a very good grasp of physics and would ask searching questions. He didn't want things done in a certain way just because they'd always been done that way. He came to have a very deep interest in geophysics and was determined that the observatory should not be simply a passive observer. For example, in seismology it should do more than just record earthquakes and he really encouraged John Hodgson to carry out a program of crustal studies using artificial explosions. Actually Hodgson's early work was working with rock bursts in mines, which are natural but the result of man's activity. Beals was able to get the budget to buy instruments for portable observatories and developed a research project.
In the case of magnetism he felt that one had to do more than just run magnetic observatories and he became very interested in the whole question of rock magnetism. A few years later he invited Runcorn to spend a couple of summers at the observatory and start a group working on rock magnetism. In gravity he favored not simply trying to cover the whole country with gravity stations, but to look at an area and do a research report on the gravity field of that area. Although this was outside his training, as a good physicist he asked important questions and mounted a series of research efforts rather than just routine measuring of quantities.
Doel:Do you recall much discussion of theory at the observatory?
Garland:Yes. Beals also initiated a series of weekly seminars both in-house and out of house. He would have the various scientists speak on their work; something that hadn't been done for years before. This forced you to put things in a way that was understandable to the other staff. I can recall myself giving a paper there on the use of gravity in determining the figure of the Earth. Most of the people there hadn't been exposed to this at all. Beals himself gave a good paper on rock magnetism, even though it was completely outside his own field. His overwhelming interest, of course, was in the identification of ancient meteorite craters in Canada.
Doel:In fact, I wanted to talk to you a little about that a little later during the time when you were at the observatory when the program was really beginning to actually develop. I have been curious when you mentioned about determining the figure of the Earth. How did that project of the Earth interest come about?
Garland:The observatory was charged with mapping gravity over all of Canada. At that time it was independent from geological surveys so there were people there whose interests was not primarily geological but simply in the geometry of the gravitational field. We didn't do solutions to get a better ellipsoid or geoid ourselves, but the data went to international organizations that did so and Beals felt that we should at least have an understanding of where the measurements we made were going. I was interested myself in papers of Heiskanen and Jeffreys.
Doel:Had you met Heiskanen at that point?
Garland:I met him, I would think, about 1948 or 1950. As far as I know the observatory never came out with a spheroid. There were people there after my time who did some local determinations of geoid undulations from the gravity field over Canada.
Doel:After the mid-1950s?
Doel:Do you recall who else came-the extramural speakers who came to the Dominion Observatory?
Garland:Coulomb of France who had worked in seismology and geomagnetism spent a summer there and visited a number of Canadian universities. He made proposals for areas which he thought Canadian geophysicists should concentrate on, and rock magnetism was one of his suggestions. He was a good friend of Teller's and as a result of Coulomb's summer at the observatory Beals made a special trip to France to meet Teller and get suggestions from him as to what should be done in rock magnetism. That was one.
We had Bartells-they had a summer visitors program and I remember perhaps the summer visitors more than I do the one day visitors-spend the summer at the observatory and had many suggestions for the analysis of the geomagnetic secular change over Canada with the high latitude observatories that were available. He felt that more could be done on temporal analysis. I can remember Bartells very well. And Runcorn came. Wadati, the Japanese seismologist, spent a summer at the observatory. That was an extremely good program of summer visitors. It was part of Beals' program to revitalize the observatory to promote research rather than routine observations.
Doel:In addition to Beals who seemed to be the principle leaders of the Dominion Observatory in the 1940s?
Garland:The solid earth geophysics at the observatory was organized in three disciplines. Seismology-the director there was Ernest Hodgson who was John Hodgson's father. Terrestrial magnetism was under Glenn Madill and gravity was under A. H. Miller. I was technically an assistant to A. H. Miller, so I did most of my work with him. Since John Hodgson had been one of my professors here and then went to the observatory, I knew John very well. Those were the three division heads in solid earth geophysics.
Doel:It sounds like you have a lot of contact with John Hodgson?
Garland:Yes, because I had met him here as professor and then during his crustal seismology studies, and they were closely related to my gravity studies of the shield so we had quite a bit in common. His father retired about the late 1940s and John became head of seismology. Just as an aside, you are going to be talking with someone at what used to be the Dominion Observatory in Ottawa?
Doel:No, unfortunately I don't have an interview scheduled there. I have spoken with people like Ian Halliday.
Garland:John, you know, has produced a booklet up to the arrival of Beals.
Doel:I realize we are not going to have a chance to fully explore it in the time that we have left. I am curious about when in the late 1940s you finished your Masters and were thinking of what places you might go for the Ph.D. What choices seemed to you as viable?
Garland:Princeton, Harvard-I don't think I approached the California universities. I was admitted to both Princeton and Harvard. I think it was the Hodgson who influenced me to go to St. Louis. It was Ernest Hodgson who had his Ph.D. from St. Louis under Macelwane and John had visited St. Louis and they both said this is a very nice place to work and it's a department of geophysics, whereas Princeton you had to go either to physics or to geology. Harvard would almost certainly be the department of geology. I think it was the Hodgson's influence.
Doel:When you think back do you recall what you knew, in addition to Princeton and Harvard, of a number of the people?
Garland:Wilson, of course, had been at Princeton many years before. Harry Hess was at Princeton. Many of us were reading about his ideas of tectogenes and ultra basic rocks. Harvard I knew for the work of Francis Birch and Leet. They were probably the contact points, so to speak, or at least the inside to what was going on there was through the work of Birch or Leet or Hess. I think those were the only universities I applied to really.
Doel:And of course St. Louis. Did you know Father Macelwane already at that point?
Garland:No. We began correspondence when I applied, but I didn't meet him until I went there. I don't think I had seen him at AGU meetings. I think my first contact was when I went to St. Louis, which would be September 1948.
Doel:When you mentioned that you hadn't thought to apply to the California schools or Cal Tech.
Doel:Was it because they seemed to be more narrowly focused on seismology or another factor?
Garland:I think perhaps that was it. I realized that St. Louis was mainly working on seismology, but my only correspondence with Macelwane he made it clear that although he would like to employ me as an assistant in a seismological program that I was free to develop my own areas of research. It would seem that in California it would be more specifically focused into the seismology.
Doel:Had you met Gutenberg by that time?
Garland:I don't believe so. I remember Gutenberg speaking at AGU meetings, but I think that was after I went to St. Louis.
Doel:And Byerly the same?
Doel:What were your impressions of St. Louis-the department-when you first arrived there?
Garland:It also was perhaps in need of a little bit of modernization. They took a very classical view of things, both methodologically and in the approach to the earth. Macelwane was a very conservative scientist and a very able seismologist; very well grounded in fundamental seismic propagation theory. In their methods they were still using a large globe to locate epicenters and I don't think the idea of moving to computers had really even dawned on them.
We had these big globes three and four feet in diameter and would draw arcs around stations with tape on the globe. Looking at records, visually of course, just picking arrivals from the records there was very little thought to digitalization or computer science. That is perhaps an unfair remark. There aren't many other places that thought of it either. I think other universities were starting to think about computers. Certainly the University of Toronto had its first computer in 1949-the old FERUT there was very little thought of that at St. Louis.
Doel:Do you recall what Macelwane had done during the war? Was he involved in any of the war efforts?
Garland:When I went there he was extremely interested in microseisms and my research support was to help in a program on high frequency microseisms. Microseisms, of course, were being used to locate tropical storms which were a source of microseisms. I am pretty sure that Macelwane had defense support from the point of using microseisms for locating hurricanes and tracking them.
Doel:Of course it's still somewhat different kind of funding exposure than other geophysicists who were perhaps more centrally involved in some of the war-time operations.
Garland:Of course it was 1948 when I went there so exactly what had been going on during the war there I am not sure. He might have.
Doel:I am just curious if he ever talked to you about it.
Garland:No, he didn't mention that.
Doel:What were your impressions of Macelwane?
Garland:Extremely good; very conservative, very classically eloquent.
Doel:Conservative in terms of his approach to science?
Garland:In terms of student interaction, of trying to get the student to devise his or her research program rather than being influenced. He always held back from trying to influence. He wanted you to come up with the program. He would point out weaknesses or make modest suggestions, but it was very much the student's problem. I had been involved with Tuzo who took rather the opposite approach. He would come up with a problem and then try to sell it to the students to take on as a research project. Macelwane was very much in favor of the student suggesting the problem. He was an appropriate enough sort of a fatherly figure that if you started out on the wrong track he would give you guidance and say he didn't think that was going to work and you should perhaps try this or that so and so had tried this in 1885 and it didn't work. He was extremely well versed in the history of the science, but he was very cautious. For example, these great disputes that I mentioned before-what's the P wave velocity in the crust. Jeffreys said 5.5, Gutenberg was starting to say 6 and Macelwane said maybe it's one thing in one place and another thing in another place. He was very, very conservative and did not like to take dogmatic positions.
Doel:Do you recall the discussions about any of the larger controversies that people were engaged in?
Garland:The crustal one was one. This was a little bit before the focal mechanism studies that Hodgson got into. We talked a little bit about focal mechanism and earthquakes, but this was really before the first motions study which was going to be a very controversial one. I think the crustal velocity one was really the only one that you could say was a major controversy. Macelwane was a stickler that you went to the library yourself and looked up every original reference. You would never get away with, in your thesis, quoting a work if you hadn't looked it up yourself. It was very important that every bit of previous work related to your problem be referenced. I have seen on oral examinations where a student would blithely put down a certain paper as a reference and Macelwane would immediately start to question the details of the paper and could tell if the student hadn't looked it up and just put the reference down. That was absolutely a "no-no." We spent a good deal of time in the library and they had a good library in St. Louis. The earlier European publications of Wiechert and so on-we had to analyze these in the original German. It was a pretty good training.
Doel:I gather there was a great deal of support for the university for acquiring text support for the department under Macelwane.
Garland:Yes. He made it absolutely essential that there be a good library. That was a strong point.
Doel:Would speakers-major figures in geophysics-come through St. Louis?
Garland:Many people came to see Macelwane, but I must admit I don't recall as many there as I do at Ottawa or here. We all had to speak on our research programs about once a month. I can recall many talks by fellow students. Macelwane was becoming sufficiently well known and people had dropped in to see him, but I don't recall influential speakers there to the extent that I do as I mentioned earlier here.
Doel:Who were your fellow graduate students at the time?
Garland:Carl Kisslinger is one with whom I kept up. Otto Nuttli, who joined the faculty of St. Louis and died just a couple of years ago of cancer. I think there is a scholarship now in his memory. Charles Holmes, who went to New Mexico School of Mines or one of the New Mexican universities in mining exploration. Holmes, Nuttli and Kisslinger are the ones I recall best.
Doel:You were not at St. Louis for much of the time that you were writing-you were back in Toronto weren't you?
Garland:I can just answer that. I was there for the full academic year of September 1948 to June 1949. The University of Toronto urged me-they were facing a faculty situation here in that Brant and Hodgson had both left, Wilson was virtually alone and they urged me to consider coming back to lecture here while I was still working on my Ph.D. In September 1949 I came back to Toronto as a lecturer, but continued my research. I finished virtually all my course requirements during that year of 1948 to 1949 in St. Louis. There were some outstanding and I could finish them in part of the summer of 1950, so I went back to 1950 and that completed all the course requirements. I continued working on my thesis, submitted it in the spring of 1951 and went back twice for my departmental oral and my final oral in the spring of 1951.
Doel:There are a number of questions that I still wanted to ask you about St. Louis and we may not have time to get through it. What courses did you take when you were there? Were they principally taught by Macelwane or were there others?
Garland:There was a very good one taught by Macelwane in which we used his book of seismology on propagation theory. I took a couple with a lady faculty member, Florence Robertson who was at St. Louis in those days. She died of cancer shortly after I got my degree. There was another Jesuit, Father Brunner and we took a course on seismic theory with him also. I don't think I took any geology courses at St. Louis. Their interest in geology was pretty narrow too. It was mostly seismic propagation theory.
Doel:Did you have contact with the physics department?
Garland:Very little. I met some of the people in physics, but they weren't very interested in geophysics.
Doel:So his department was very much separated from both geology and from geophysics?
Garland:That's right. It was actually called the Institute of Technology and in other universities it would have been the engineering faculty of the university, but they offered very little in engineering and geophysics was the largest department in the Institute of Technology. I guess Macelwane or one of his colleagues actually ranked as a dean, but it was virtually all geophysics. It was very little other engineering.
Doel:In the geophysics it was very tightly concentrated around seismic work?
Garland:Yes. That's right.
Doel:We are resuming right now after a brief lunch break. We were talking about your time in St. Louis when you were with Macelwane. You discussed about the courses you were taking there and the contacts with others. Did you have many discussions with Macelwane about the role of the theory or experiment or broader philosophical questions about doing science?
Garland:He was interested in the history of research, in particular, but particularly the way in which the director of a major research lab operated and how he coordinated different research programs-the philosophy of research. He used to talk to us about this. He was impressed by certain leaders of major laboratories. I remember he used to talk about C. E. K. Mees.
Garland:He was very impressed by the career of C. E. K. Mees, the director of the Eastman Photographic Research Laboratory. He would always emphasize that it was important to keep a broad interest in peripheral science outside your own research field. He was terribly concerned that students would become too narrow in their own research and dry up-to balance a broad outlook very carefully with what you were doing and not becoming too disseminated. He had definite ideas on how to approach research.
Doel:When he mentioned Mees, how had he been in contact or had he directly?
Garland:I don't know if he was a personal friend of Mees or not. They were in very different fields. He was certainly impressed with Mees' career and the way in which he directed a major laboratory.
Doel:One of the major interesting and unique features of geophysics through St. Louis was the Jesuit connection. I am wondering how much did he talk about the extended network that the Jesuits had created in seismology?
Garland:I think he had visited many of their stations-the ones that were still accessible to him. He knew many of the directors. I think many of them wrote to him for advice and he would answer. He didn't speak to us a great deal about the ones outside the United States, but at least once a year there would be a meeting of directors of Jesuit seismological stations from the United States and I met a number of the directors. He would take them around and introduce his graduate students to these people. There were on the order of a dozen Jesuit stations in the United States. Of course he had mail contact with those in South America and the southeast Pacific.
Doel:Did you as a graduate student have contact when these people would visit?
Garland:Macelwane was very good about bringing any visitors around to meet his graduate students and tell them what we were doing. So we would chat for a few minutes and so on. It wasn't an in-depth conversation we had with him, but he did introduce us to visitors.
Doel:Was there much contact with Macelwane and others on the faculty after hours or was it mostly around the department?
Garland:Mostly in the department. I think they mostly lived in residences and had their religious duties and so on. I saw more of Macelwane when we would be at scientific meetings. I know we were at an AIME conference in San Francisco at the same time. He would like to go to a good restaurant, but in St. Louis one rarely saw him after hours. He would go back into the residence.
Doel:Did he also talk to you about his own religious convictions?
Garland:No. That didn't enter into any of our discussions in the institute.
Doel:Was it in 1949, the period at least when you were coming back here to Toronto for your lecture, of the time of your marriage?
Doel:I'd like to hear how that came about?
Garland:My bride was from a family with mining connections in northern Ontario, but I didn't meet her through geophysics. I met her through other connections through mutual friends. We became engaged in the summer of 1948 and then I went off for this one year of intensive work in St. Louis. When it was known that I was coming back to Toronto in 1949 to lecture we set the wedding date for June 1949, which worked out very well. She accompanied me on some field work. In the summer of 1950 I was still working on my Ph.D. for St. Louis but I went back and did a summers work with the Dominion Observatory again on a gravity survey and my wife came along with me and assisted with the gravity work. We were in Nova Scotia in Newfoundland for most of the summer.
Doel:What was her own background?
Garland:Commerce and finance-a graduate of this university. She had worked in various statistical and economic analyses positions.
Doel:Certainly in the scientific area-applied mathematics.
Garland:Yes, she did have mathematics in her background. Her family had a connection with the gold mining industry in Ontario.
Doel:I am curious about when you came back to Toronto when you were offered and given a chance to do the lecturing. Things were changing quickly in the department here in the late 1940s. Were there any particular changes that you noticed of how the department had changed?
Garland:We were very thin in geophysics because Wilson and I were essentially the group, yet the geophysics section of physics was under some commitment to give these exploration courses because students were interested in exploration geophysics. I found myself giving what had essentially been Brant's lectures and Hodgson's lectures. Both of these courses involved a laboratory so it was pretty full-time just getting things organized. They had both left and simply setting up the apparatus and organizing groups for laboratory experiments was very full-time and then of course I was trying to write my own thesis for St. Louis also. It was a very busy time and I think my impression of it is mostly how thin we were on the ground.
Doel:So you were covering both the laboratories of geophysics as well as the lecturing.
Garland:In those subjects, yes.
Doel:When you were putting together the courses were there others that you turned to for advice in rounding out the course or did you find that your experience that you had already gained at Toronto prepared you?
Garland:And St. Louis-it was essentially drawn on that. There was really no one else here.
Doel:I am curious, for example, had you worked with Hodgson at Dominion Observatory in helping to plan these courses?
Garland:Yes, but he wasn't very much involved in that aspect of it.
Doel:The department was slowly beginning to expand by the early 1950s. When was it that the contact first developed between, for example, John Jacobs-did that come already in the early 1950s?
Garland:I was thinking about 1950-I could be out by a year. As I mentioned he came to the University of Toronto as associate professor of applied mathematics which was in an old house next to the old house that was occupied by geophysics and used to come into geophysics to have tea. Wilson persuaded him to take some interest in geophysics and apply his applied mathematics to problems of fracture of the earth's crust, the sort of thing Wilson had been doing with Scheidegger and then Jacobs became very interested in external geomagnetism-magnetic micropulsations and their spatial distribution over the earth and their variation in time. He really moved away from solid earth geophysics into external geomagnetism.
Doel:In the early period when he first arrives?
Garland:He certainly had some interest in theories of failure of the earth's crust and how you generate fractures in an elastic plate. That followed very directly on Wilson's work with Scheidegger.
Doel:What contact did you have with Jacobs and Scheidegger?
Garland:Scheidegger was working here during the years I was lecturing in geophysics. Scheidegger wasn't lecturing. He was a research associate at Wilson's and during the time when they worked out their theory of a contracting earth with a rigid crust over it, yes I was here all that time. I knew Scheidegger quite well and I also knew Jacobs about the last year I was here. After I received my Ph.D. in the spring of 1951, from St. Louis, I stayed one more year at Toronto as a lecturer and then in the spring of 1952 I moved to Ottawa on the permanent staff of the observatory. During that last year I overlapped with Jacobs and Scheidegger.
Doel:What sort of people were Jacobs and Scheidegger?
Garland:Very different. Scheidegger was quiet and reserved and slightly had a complex that his work wasn't sufficiently appreciated. I think always a little bit of a chip on his shoulder. Jacobs was very outgoing, very gregarious. He liked a good party and he didn't carry the weight of his research as a burden in the way Scheidegger did.
Doel:Were you close enough to see how the collaboration occurred between Wilson and Scheidegger in developing the contracting earth hypothesis?
Garland:Wilson of course supplied the surface expression, the facts-that is the shape of faults on the earth's surface, of thrusts or normal faulting or the shapes of continental margins. This was all in terms of a fixed earth plate tectonics. They paid very little account to vertical movements either. Scheidegger worked out the theory of failure of cold elastic crust over an earth that is contracting and showed that you would tend to get compression at near surface and tensile failure at great depth where the cooling is most rapid and at some depth there would be a level of no strain where you change from tension to compression. He also showed that the surface geometry of a fracture was produced with a curve of a certain radius. Wilson gave him examples in different parts of the earth of arcs and so on of different radii of curvature. That's about as close as I came to knowing their actual collaboration.
Doel:When did Russell begin to get involved?
Garland:Russell and Farkquar were both graduate students here when I was lecturing. I would say 1949 I think they were both Master's students. I guess their Ph.D.s would have been a year or two after mine-perhaps around 1952. They worked on reassembling this mass spectrometer which Norman Keevil had tried to assemble some years before but had never got working.
Doel:Hadn't Keevil left the department just around 1945 or 1946?
Garland:Yes, I just knew Keevil slightly. I think about 1945 he left and went full-time into consulting. Many of the things he was working on were left behind. There were drawers and drawers of powdered samples or rocks for which he had measured the Alpha activity. He did a great deal of fundamental work before he became interested in exploration geophysics.
Doel:Was this material fruitful for the graduate students who came on afterwards?
Garland:I doubt if much use was made afterwards, but Keevil published papers on the heat productivity of different rock types. I think in assembled tables of geophysical data or geochemical data you will still find references to Keevil's measurements for the typical activity of a granite or something like that.
Doel:I want to talk a bit more in detail about the research that led ultimately to your dissertation with Macelwane. Were you getting most of the data from the work that you had done at the Dominion Observatory?
Garland:Some. I published histories-I became interested in the relationship that had been first suggested by Baron Eötvös, the there should be a relationship between gravity and magnetic originator of the torsion balance. Eötvös had pointed out that anomalies because the same mathematics goes into the calculation of the attraction of a body of a certain shape for both fields. You have different property parameters, but similar geometrical factors, except the magnetic effect involves a higher derivative because it's dipolar. No one had seemed at the time I had written my thesis to have followed up on this from a practical point of view and I started to wonder well, if you measure the gravity anomaly and the magnetic anomaly over the same body can you deduce something about its properties even though the ambiguity of interpretation prevents you from saying exactly what shape it is. If you can cancel the shape factor out from these two measurements and perhaps come up with something on the properties. That was essentially my Ph.D. and led to that paper in the journal Geophysics.
Doel:This was your second published paper?
Garland:Yes. I used some measurements we had from Canadian work where we had both magnetic and gravity data, but I also used some published examples where there was both gravity and magnetic observation over the same body.
Doel:One was, as I recall, from Arkansas.
Garland:Yes, there was an ultrabasic body in Arkansas.
Doel:How did you come to know this existed?
Garland:I think just literature searches. This was, of course, all pre-computer days and the calculations were fairly primitive. It has been followed up by a few other people with digital data and doing it properly by getting the various derivatives by computer.
Doel:Yours was much a setting out of the technique and demonstrating the operability of that. Was there any other people outside of those that we've already discussed within Toronto or the Dominion Observatory who had quite an influence on the way in which you worked on this program in development of your dissertation?
Garland:I think I had some discussions along similar lines with Arthur Brant even before I had chosen this problem. Brant was very interested in how you formulate expressions for the attraction in gravity or the magnetics of tight bodies. This was an outcome of his Berlin training-the German school was very strong in this. I had a number of discussions with Arthur Brant on just how you formulate these. I think we came close to discussing this very problem with Brant, but then of course he had left by the time I was doing my Ph.D.
Doel:The first paper that you published in 1950, that was on gravity and magnetics.
Garland:That was essentially my Master's thesis of gravity and there was more gravity than magnetics in there, but there are a couple of things that I want to mention about that paper. Back in those days we naively thought that the upper crust was more homogenous in physical properties. I have mentioned earlier the seismic-the fact that people were looking for a single seismic velocity. The same thing was true of density. In those days the maps of the Canadian shield showed large areas colored pink in the legend of the map and then it was a granite or similar rocks. We thought that the Canadian shield was a vast sea of granite with distinct bodies of altered basalt or greenstone immersed in it. Everything in pink on the map was thought to be granite.
The geodesists also thought that granite with a density of 2.67 was the material of most nearly average density of the upper crust. Almost simultaneously George Woollard in parts of New England and ourselves in Canada found that wherever you really were over a body of granite you got a very large negative anomaly. We have many, many examples of this so we quickly came to realize that true granite is not the typical body of the upper crust but that it's of anomalously low density. The typical rock of the upper crust in the shield is a gneiss whose density is closer to 2.7. The density of granite is about 2.67-of a real granite-but the typical crustal rock is denser so where ever you are over a nice body of massive, unfoliated, non-gneissic granite you get a negative anomaly. This was quite a surprise in those days and both Woollard's and our group were somewhat surprised when this came about.
Doel:Of course the connection was frequently made that the rocks of the shield seemed to be almost as old or much closer to the beginning of geological time given the ages of the Earth commonly accepted.
Garland:Oh yes. And when I was taking geology courses here they will still teaching that Grenville was the oldest part of the shield whereas now we know that it's less than one billion and the parts of the shield farther north are actually two billion. It's actually one of the youngest provinces of the shield, but this was not being taught when I was here. The other thing that came out of that Master's thesis, when you're over true granite you get a negative anomaly; when you're over greenstone, these altered bands of basalt, of course you get a positive anomaly. It's not too difficult to work out the depth extent of them and that was completely unknown.
These things you can look at as roof pendants and they are presumably underlain by granite or gneiss-on each side they're bounded by granite or gneiss-so you have a fairly simple problem to work out a model body that fits the anomaly and that would give you a depth estimate for the greenstone belts which is of some economic important because the gold deposits were all associated with greenstones and some of the greenstone belts are not all that much thicker than the deeper gold mines so there was obviously no point in looking deeper for gold. At the same time John Hodgson was doing his crustal studies of his shield, using rock bursts, and he in some cases he was able to determine the depth of greenstone belts from his crustal studies and they came out very close to my evidence from gravity. That's not mentioned in the paper because his results came out afterward, but in fact there was a good agreement in the thickness of the greenstone belts with seismics.
Doel:I would imagine then that the work stimulated further exploration?
Garland:Yes, it did. In fact, the shield has been covered on a regional basis over most of its exposed area; not by me but by others that came along and did that. There was quite an effort to cover up virtually all the shield with regional gravity, mostly by landing on lakes with float planes and reading gravity on the lake and then flying to another lake.
Doel:This work would typically be done during a summer?
Doel:Could it also be done in the winter?
Garland:It could but in fact in those days, in the late 1950s-early 1960s, it was all summer work. The person that carried out most of that work was M. J. S. Innes who also did geophysical studies of some of the craters that Beals had located-you will see Innes' name in connection with some of the craters.
Doel:He certainly did that work in the 1960s.
Doel:Were you in contact with any of the geophysical firms or exploration firms after you published that work?
Garland:Informally. I was never great for consulting work, but I did offer advice or tried to be helpful to look at problems for geophysical companies. I was never regularly involved in consulting.
Doel:Was it the same after the dissertation involved at the Master's level?
Doel:I was curious about that earlier in your papers you managed to set out very interesting problems that then others in some ways carried on further in detail. Did it seem to you that it was more interesting or more challenging to deal with the problems that presented themselves for solution as opposed to working towards finding solutions of the principles that you were developing?
Garland:Perhaps to some extent. We were very limited in those days as compared to the present day with the absence of computers. There was very much a limit as to how far you could push an interpretation. I guess I felt that perhaps you started to run into diminishing returns. You try to refine a solution and the means just weren't there to do it. Then we became involved in this question of establishing standards for gravimeters using pendulum apparatus. That was sort of an interesting time of the mid-1950s.
Doel:This was the beginning of about 1953 and afterwards; you had already gone to the Dominion Observatory?
Garland:Yes. The background of that is people started-really we have to give credit to George Woollard here-using gravimeters which had really been developed as an exploration tool to make very long distance connections between points on Earth to map the gravity field of the Earth, which previously had been done by pendulum apparatus. Woollard made a great contribution flying around the world, mostly on U. S. Air Force, playing with a lot of graduate students with the gravimeter. He showed that many of the early determinations must be in error because they just didn't fit the gravity results. Some people in Europe were a little reluctant to accept this result and said, "But you don't really know the calibration factor of your gravimeter."
It was calibrated over a very narrow range, for exploration purposes, and here he was using it between the equator and the poles so ranges needed to be set up. Ranges were set up both in America and Europe for this purpose and then some people thought, "Well, do you think there's a difference?" and they actually started talking about a European milligal which I deplored because I thought it sort of hardened the situation, but there was a real demand to get a calibration base. There was then discussion over the best kind of pendulum apparatus available to do this work with. Again we went in two different directions. Cambridge University had been having very good results in Europe with what was called the Cambridge Pendulum Apparatus and Woollard and his graduate students reactivated an old pendulum apparatus that had been made by the Gulf Oil Company for oil exploration in the days before gravimeters. Woollard did quite a bit of work with this Gulf Pendulum Apparatus and we-by "we" I mean the Dominion Observatory-borrowed from Cambridge University for two and a half years their pendulum apparatus.
Doel:The Gulf instrument that was mentioned, would this have been a commercially made?
Garland:It was commercially made by the Gulf Research Laboratories, but it wasn't unique. In its heyday-probably around 1940-they had five or six sets of these and they used them routinely in oil exploration. When Woollard revitalized one in the 1950s they only had enough parts to get one set operating. Of course he made some improvements in timing and so on, but in late 1951 the Cambridge Pendulum Apparatus were sent out here. I had them from late 1951 until early 1954. In 1952 in cooperation with the U.S. Coast and geodetic survey we observed as far south as Mexico City and in 1953 I observed as far north as College, Alaska. For a while it was the longest line of stations made with a single apparatus anywhere in the world. They had stations about every hundred miles apart from Mexico City to Fairbanks.
Doel:How was it possible that you made the loan from Cambridge University?
Garland:I think probably the truth of the matter is they didn't have any urgent demand for the apparatus themselves at the time. They were also sympathetic to our needs and interested in the results, and we were on pretty good terms with the faculty there. They apparently didn't miss them.
Doel:Was this something that you worked out directly through Jeffreys?
Garland:No, it was B. C. Browne. Jeffreys was purely theoretical and wasn't involved with the apparatus of the department. Bullard had been involved, but had moved to the national physics-well he had been here for a while and then back to the National Physical Laboratory-but it was B. C. Browne who was head of the department at Cambridge and we worked it out with him. I went to Cambridge after the Brussels IUGG meeting in 1951. I went to Cambridge for about three weeks to study the apparatus and make measurements with it. They were then sent out to Canada. I made some changes. The pendulums are invar and invar has very good properties, but it is magnetic.
There is an effect of the Earth's magnetic field on the pendulum. Some years before Bullard had recognized this and he had lined the cases with a mu-metal screen to shield the effect of the Earth's magnetic field, but I determined that the mu-metal shield was not complete so I tore it out and replaced it with a series of Helmholtz coils that exactly balanced the Earth's field so the pendulum swung in a field-free environment. I think this very considerably improved the accuracy of Cambridge pendulums. That was fairly time consuming during most of 1952 and 1953.
Doel:Simply spent on working on the instruments?
Garland:Yes and in the field and working out the results afterward. I also made a trip back to Britain and back to Canada with them as the connection between Ottawa and Cambridge.
Doel:There was one paper that you wrote during that period which was a collaboration with Cook.
Garland:Cook had been at Cambridge and had done a lot of work with these pendulums and was then at the National Physical Laboratory. When I did this connection between Ottawa, Washington and Cambridge, he was associated in the observations at Cambridge and also we collaborated on the statistics when we wrote up the observations.
Doel:How did the actual collaboration work between the two of you?
Garland:On the site, of course, we worked together. After I came back to Ottawa we exchanged drafts of papers and say, "Should we handle the errors this way or that way?" and write back and forth. Eventually we came to an agreement on a manuscript.
Doel:You had quite a bit of exposure to the problem with error measurement.
Garland:But Cook is a real expert on this, too. His interest has been in precise measurement of physical quantities and he is very particular on this treatment of statistics of measurements. That's completely passé now because with the falling body apparatus you can measure gravity absolutely to a fraction of a milligal anywhere on earth and that's being done. All of this calibration uncertainty is gone.
Doel:Of course in the 1950s it was critical-
Garland:It remained critical.
Doel:How much contact did you have with Bullard during the period?
Garland:Bullard was chairman of physics here for about a year and a half, but unfortunately most of that time corresponded with my active residence at St. Louis-1948/1949-but I chatted with him about my Master's work before I went to St. Louis and I had some talks with him briefly when I came back to lecture here just before he went back to England to the NPL. He was very interested in this pendulum work and so when I was in England on a couple of occasions with the Cambridge pendulums I would always chat with him at the NPL about his experiences with the pendulum. Of course he had known Wilson from the time Wilson did a degree at Cambridge in the early 1930s. Bullard had graduate students here during 1948/1949 who I knew later working on the dynamo theory and things.
Doel:Who are you thinking of in particular?
Garland:I think Witham, who was director of the Dominion Observatory for a while after Hodgson. He certainly worked with Bullard. I think Bullard was his supervisor. Witham's interest was in the heat of the Earth-radioactivity level rather than geomagnetism. I knew Mack who has one paper, I think, with Bullard on dynamo theory. I knew Mack slightly. I didn't know Gellman who did the other dynamo paper with Bullard. I guess those are the main ones. People have come here since and are here now who were Bullard's students after he went back to Cambridge after the NPL. He was back at Cambridge until he retired in the 1970s. Professor Edwards-I don't know if you met him-who was in this group was one of Bullard's last Ph.D. students at Cambridge about 1970.
Doel:Did Walter Bucher pass through this way?
Garland:Bucher has spoken here, probably at least a couple of times. I never saw Bullard and Bucher together. They met, but I was never present during the time they met. Certainly we had Ewing here to speak in the 1950s or 1960s. It would have been interesting to see them together.
Doel:Yes, it would. You also mentioned, at lunch, that one of the other speakers who passed through shortly after Wilson arrived here was Hubbert?
Garland:I am sure Hubbert was here during the early days. I heard Hubbert speak much later when he was interested in sort of the geopolitics of oil, but I think I am right in saying that Hubbert had spoken here when he was more technically based and I can't remember whether it was on oil exploration or reservoir theory. I certainly knew him as a speaker as a much younger man and then I recall hearing him when he was older and more interested in geopolitics of oil.
Doel:This is probably a good time to spend a little bit of time on your decision to go to the Dominion Observatory-when you accepted the appointment in June 1952. How did that come about?
Garland:I think the recognition-of course we had already borrowed the Cambridge pendulums-that it was very difficult to get funding for extensive field surveys in 1951 for a university. The observatory-Beals made it clear that if I were to go there they would give me all the logistic support I needed. If you are going to measure the calibration line from Mexico to Fairbanks you need a fair amount of logistic support. That just didn't seem to be forthcoming through the University of Toronto.
Doel:Or from any of the other funding agencies that were emerging at the time?
Garland:That's right. I thought it was a good time to make the change.
Doel:When you took on the appointment I am just curious in a general way of what you expected the long-term work there might be?
Garland:I was never very much in favor of fractionization or specialization. As I mentioned this morning, solid earth geophysics in the observatory was under three directors-seismology, magnetism, gravity-and I went to work in gravity. I would always have liked to have seen a geophysical group that would cross these very specialized disciplines. That wasn't too serious during the two or three years I was there because we had enough to do in gravity, but I don't think I went there with the idea that it would be a lifetime assignment. It was something appropriate at the time and that is why in 1954 when the University of Alberta decided to do something I went there.
Doel:You mentioned before that Beals managed through the colloquia series external speakers as well as in-house speakers to attempt to bring together these disparate elements that formed the Dominion Observatory. Was there still, when you went there in the early 1950s, a sense of a significant distinction between them?
Garland:Some of the staff. They were the little empires and they didn't cross boundaries too readily. That is one thing about Beals' crater research-the ground geophysics follow-up. One thing it did was bring the groups together because some of the crater investigations involved both crustal seismology, magnetism and gravity. That was a very useful thing.
Doel:I want to ask you about the cratering program. Do you recall discussions with Beals-how the idea to do this came about? Clearly there were the discoveries of the Brent crater and the photographic surveys were disclosing circular features.
Garland:The deeper question is why did Beals become interested? I am not sure I have the complete answer except he was very cognizant of the fact that he was directing an institution that was both astronomical and geophysical. I think he wanted to bring those two sides together. With his astronomical background he had some interest in cratering, although that was not his astronomical field; it was spectroscopy of stars. I think he thought he would be able to contribute something about craters and that he would involve the geophysicists in it. That's my interpretation of why he made that such a major research program.
Doel:Do you remember any of the discussions for example about this? The literature was fairly small.
Doel:There was Baldwin's book in 1949.
Garland:That's right. Beals made use of that from the earliest days. He employed people, as some were students, as much as Wilson had done earlier in the case of lineaments. He employed people just to search through aerial photographs looking for circular features. Some of the early ones they turned up were the big Manicouagan in Quebec which appears on the map of Canada, where the two rivers form a circular feature. That was one of the early ones investigated on the ground. The other one was the one known as the Brent crater in northern Algonquin Park about one hundred seventy five miles north of here. That was also investigated on the ground with seismics and gravity. There were some smaller ones too and in most cases on the shield-of course you don't get a striking crater the way you do in Arizona-because they are filled with Paleozoic rocks.
The Brent one in particular, the actual hole in the ground is well over one thousand feet deep, completely filled with Paleozoic limestone and then covered with drift. The drilling showed the pre-Cambrian rock under the limestone had been fractured before the limestone was deposited so it seems clear it was a crater. There was a little bit of skepticism at first because I think in those early days people thought there should be fragments of the meteorite. There was some reluctance on the part of geologists to accept from this impact structures, without evidence of meteor fractures or fragments, and of course some geologists continue to think that they're cryptovolcanic.
Doel:Do you recall any particular discussions of the 1950s between those at the laboratory who were favoring the impact hypothesis for these features and geologists who were reluctant?
Garland:Yes. Also the dating of them. The Chubb crater was not found by the observatory; it was found by the prospector, Chubb. For a long time there was discussion over whether it was pre-ice age or post-ice age.
Doel:This was the one Survey director Harrison was investigating.
Garland:Yes. He thought it was pre-ice age. Chubb and Victor Meen of the Royal Ontario Museum had studied it and Meen said that because of the undisturbed nature of the rim it must be post-ice age and Harrison said a lot of these boulders on the rim were deposited by the ice-age-they're perched boulders and that's why it looks undisturbed, but actually the glacier has dumped stuff on the rim.
Doel:Do you recall how the contact between Beals and Harrison on this issue came about?
Garland:Beals originated that. He invited Harrison and some of his geologists and Victor Meen to a meeting in Ottawa to discuss. I was at that meeting. It was very interesting give and take between Meen and Harrison, in a friendly way, but I think neither of them were convinced by the other's arguments.
Doel:When you mention about geologists who opposed it, I am curious in the 1950s if you sense that there were leaders in the geological camp?
Garland:Currie-I think he's still with the GSC-I think its Ken Currie. He has written papers on these and he has described a cryptovolcanic origin to many of them.
Doel:Some of his first papers weren't until the 1960s. Beals had started this work earlier.
Garland:OK. Perhaps they didn't become widely known in the geological community until the 1960s. I am not aware of heated discussions in those very early days.
Doel:Was it because geologists didn't see it as much of an issue that concerned them?
Garland:I think that's true. One of the big turning points is when the INCO geologists came to accept the Sudbury basin as an impact structure. Here you have these very practical industry exploration geologists in a major mining company accepting the fact that the structure they're on is an impact structure. This had a big effect on the geological community.
Doel:When was that generally accepted?
Garland:I hesitate. I would think the early-mid 1960s. There are papers on it that you could narrow it down more closely. Some of the arguments against Sudbury being a meteorite crater are almost philosophical or statistical. One is that Sudbury is close to the Grenville front. Why should a meteorite decide to strike the Earth near the Grenville front? The other is that there is a very much younger structure just a few miles away from Sudbury called Lake Wanapitei and it is more easily demonstrated as an impact structure. What are the chances of having a young crater on a an old crater and therefore if the young crater is right then the old crater can't be a crater. These are very interesting arguments against Sudbury being an impact structure.
Doel:In the 1950s-particularly at the time you were still at the Dominion Observatory and in close contact with Beals and the crater program-did you find opposition to geologists to the idea of cratering? Clearly some felt it challenged earlier conceptions of geological uniformatarianism. I was wondering if that came up?
Garland:It may well have. I really don't think they took this work that seriously. The geological survey did supply one geologist to go on each of these major field programs-to Manicouagan and to Brent and some others-but I think they took it just as a way of getting some logistics. The geologists that went had quite an open mind as to whether it was volcanic or crater. There was something anomalous there and they were happy to go and map the rocks-Paleozoic, the shield, unusual volcanic rocks-but whether the structure was a crater or not was secondary initially. I think they just accepted the logistics that Beals arranged.
Doel:That's a good point. It provided-it was something the survey itself could not afford.
Garland:Right, yet it was clearly something anomalous and they were not completely prepared to accept the cratering hypothesis. They were prepared to go and map.
Doel:I think that's also an interesting point that the real locus of the debate did not occur until the 1960s, particularly in the context of the space mission and the research being done more intensely on lunar craters.
Doel:Before we move on to your accepting the position at Alberta is there anything else we haven't covered from the Dominion Observatory?
Garland:My own involvement there-we mentioned the work on the Cambridge pendulum-I managed to do some other regional studies while I was there including a fairly detailed study of the southern Cordillera in Canada in which we worked out isostatic anomalies for quite a large area and looked at the isostatic balance. The pendulum didn't take up the entire time. I did some further work on the Maritimes, too, on gravity. By the time I left, except for the crater work, there was still pretty much of a fractionation between seismology, gravity and magnetism. There are some other interesting aspects of geophysical history there, but I am probably not the best person to discuss them.
The whole fault plane work of John Hodgson, which certainly is interesting. After his studies of the crust, using rock bursts, he turned to this first motion study in earthquakes to try to deduce the direction of faulting. That was really the main research effort in seismology during the early 1950s when I was at the observatory. As you know, he came out with the correct sense of motion but the wrong structure. It was up to Sykes to show this. They found horizontal motion, but they thought the fault plane was steeply dipping. They thought it was all transcurrent motion whereas in fact much of it was a thrust motion. That was an honest error due to the inadequacy of the data. If they had refined their observations in the way Sykes later did they would have been one of the early groups into global tectonics. They just missed it by not having the orientation of fault plane correct.
Doel:That's an interesting observation.
Garland:If you have time in Ottawa, Hodgson himself would be the person to speak about that.
Doel:The question I realize I should have asked you is on the reception of Beals and the cratering program. Do you recall any discussion within the Observatory-other leaders within it such as Hodgson or others-doubts about its advisability?
Garland:I think it was Beals' personality and his influence over funding that brought people around. I think the directors of seismology and gravity and magnetism had their own projects and it was Beals' force of personality that said, "Look, we've got to do this; I want your groups to provide some people to cooperate on this interdisciplinary study. I'll fund it." And they simply had to go along with it. I am sure it wasn't necessary to the highest priority to the individual sections. It did take his personal force to get this through.
Doel:There's two issues playing here. One is other research programs that may need to be slowed down because of work through the cratering program. The other is, were there doubts on the advisability of Beals' arguments in favor that the structures that they were going out to study were intact? Did that also play into the
Garland:I think a bit of that, yes. I don't really think it hurt the budgets of the other program. I think he was able to increase the global funding of the observatory. I think he had enough scientific prestige that as a result of this-to him very exciting-program he was able to increase the global funding. I don't think anybody lost out internally.
Doel:That's interesting. How did you find out about the opportunity that ultimately came for you at Alberta?
Garland:I was written to by the university. I suspect it was through Tuzo. The University of Alberta decided to do something in geophysics in 1954. I think either the president or the head of the physics department wrote to Tuzo for suggestions and I am sure I was probably on the list of names that he gave to them.
Doel:Did you find out why the university became interested in starting geophysics?
Garland:I think there had been demand among the students there because Alberta was just beginning to be a very active oil exploration. Leduc had been found in 1947, seismically, by Imperial Oil. This was 1954. The university should have been into it earlier, but they weren't. The geology department was rather conservative and the physics department had no interest in geophysics. The physics department felt, because students were asking-"Can we study geophysics here"-there had been a sufficient student inquiry so the physics department decided to take up the challenge and start geophysics rather than the geology department. I was alone for a while and then was gradually part of a larger group.
Garland:I think I was alone for about two years and then they gradually made other appointments. I suppose there were five of us in geophysics by the time I returned to Toronto.
Doel:What areas did these appointments reflect?
Garland:I decided to initially, because I had to start the program and so on, to start with things I was most familiar with. We did gravity and magnetic surveys over the plains looking at structures in the basement. I knew the anomalies would be coming from basement features, but the question was could we make useful deductions about structures in the sedimentary column based on studies of the basement underneath. About this time there was considerable interest in electrical studies of the crust-Cagniard in France was developing-and I had some students working on that. Keeva Vozoff who had been at MIT came to work with me. His interests were almost entirely in electrical work. He is now professor at McQuarry University in Australia. George Cumming, who was a Ph.D. from Toronto and had been with BA Oil (British American Oil) in Calgary as seismic interpreter, was the third person to come. He worked on seismic interpretation. We covered a range of disciplines from potential fields through electrical surveys to seismic.
Doel:This was your program to fill and develop?
Doel:When you came on at the university were there any requests that you were able to make with the administration on how you wanted to do the program-either the instruction or the research?
Garland:Yes. The university didn't have a great deal of money of its own. We did pretty well on research grants and the companies in Calgary gave us some apparatus. The university came up with some money for equipment for undergraduate laboratories. They came up with space specifically for geophysics. We were rather well looked after. You have to remember that when I went there in 1954 the physics department, I was the seventh member of the physics department. It was a fairly small operation. They had a few Master's students; not very many Ph.D. students. It was over the next later 1950s and 1960s that the whole research program in physics really developed and the size of the physics department increased.
Doel:Who are your principle patrons? When you mentioned getting funds, which agency?
Garland:At that time it was the National Research Council but later the granting function was split off from the National Research Council which became just a government laboratory and the current granting council is known as Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council which is our equivalent to NSF. The old NRC is purely a laboratory function now. In those days, through the 1960s, it was still NRC.
Doel:What kinds of instruments did you have available when you were there? What did you try to get?
Garland:I think we acquired a gravimeter. We bought a Worden gravimeter and magnetic field measuring instruments. When Vozoff came we hired a very good electronics technician and built some very-for the day-advanced digital recording electric and magnetic signal recording apparatus. It was home-built, but it was rather nice. We had a good electronics technician. We acquired seismic apparatus for our refraction crustal studies when Cumming came. That, by the way, was acquired through ARPA grant because they were interested in supporting anybody doing crustal seismic work.
Doel:When did they become an important patron?
Garland:I would think about 1961.
Doel:This was in context of the nuclear test bombing?
Garland:That's right. The reason they were prepared to support us is in southern Alberta is that at that time there was a Canadian defense establishment called Suffield, in a remote semi-desert part of southeastern Alberta. Suffield-the defense people there-were studying very large chemical explosions; tons of TNT. These were air blasts so the ground effect wasn't all that great, but still they were very large chemical explosions and we worked with the defense people and were able to make seismic measurements for crustal work at different distances and the ARPA people-I think Bates was one of their funding officers-were very interesting in getting the amplitude of P waves at different distances from large explosions. We had rather nice funding from ARPA from 1961 to 1964 or something like that.
Doel:Later in the 1960s in the U. S., there was increasing tension about accepting grants from agencies like ARPA.
Garland:We had a little bit of flack in Canada-not so much in principle but misunderstanding. The Canadian government was always very much afraid that people would think that the explosions at Suffield were nuclear. We had to be very, very careful and particularly since our research was being funded by an American agency. They thought this would convince people there were nuclear explosions going on. We had to be very, very careful with any release to say these were chemical explosions, not nuclear.
Doel:But there wasn't concern on the part of faculty members at the university?
Garland:No opposition on the part of the university administration.
Doel:You mentioned in a review article that you'd written in, I believe, 1959 of what appeared to you to be the more interesting areas of geophysical research.
Garland:I'd forgotten that.
Doel:You mentioned chemical explosions in one particular setting that you felt being instrumental in producing a great deal of new insights?
Garland:I presume the Suffield one. OH! That's right. recorded the waves from Ripple Rock. Ripple Rock was an obstruction to navigation between Vancouver Island and the mainland. Many, many ships had come to grief on it. About 1961 or 1962-
Doel:I think a little earlier.
Doel:I think so, because the article was written in 1959.
Garland:A retired Canadian mining engineer came up with a proposal to tunnel under and place explosions and get rid of the damn thing. I forgot exactly where his funding came from, but this was well publicized in advance and everybody across Canada was waiting for Ripple Rock to disappear. We got a lot of help through Hodgson's people in Ottawa-the observatory-excellent cooperation. The Canadian Broadcasting Company broadcast standard time signals and observing groups even with a cheap radio could pick up the nearest CBC station. We operated a seismograph station in Alberta and many other people as far as Winnipeg did. We got rather good records from the Ripple Rock explosion and they were analyzed by Hodgson's people. They suggested a thickening of the crust under the cordillera, which was rather nice. It was sort of a mountain root.
Doel:This is what you were talking about in your work from time-the topography of the crust-mantle boundaries.
Doel:Was this also coming out of the content of the
Garland:Yes, the gravity suggested a crustal thickening and the seismic results also. There is much more detailed resolution now with vibrator studies and things.
Doel:Thinking back to the late 1950s when this work was going on-who seemed to be the leaders, as you saw it, of work in this area? Who seemed to comprise the community itself?
Garland:Of crustal studies?
Doel:Of those who were doing the work on the boundary between crustal and
Garland:The person in Canada who was most involved was Hodgson's number two man-Pat Willmore of England-who had studied the Heligoland explosion right after World War II when he was at Cambridge. He was about eight years at Ottawa — through the 1950s he was a seismologist with Hodgson at Ottawa. His main interest was in crustal studies and mapping the Moho and crustal velocities and upper mantle velocities. Then the work rather lapsed until the recent era of using vibrators and this national program that we call Lithoprobe which has been going for about five years. I would think through the seventies and eighties there was really not very much progress on knowing the topography of the crust mantle boundary; essentially just the earlier work of Hodgson and Willmore.
Doel:Did the work seem to you to be coming principally from the Canadian research centers of yours and others further east that were involved in it?
Garland:An awful lot worked on that stage. The USGS-Pakiser's work-and various university groups in that stage. In the Canadian scene the mapping of the Moho seemed to me to lapse between the late 1960s and the early 1980s.
Garland:I think that's a fair statement. You may get a different impression than that from Ottawa.
Doel:In 1959 you were elected to the Order of Canada?
Garland:No, 1959 was the Royal Society; Order of Canada is 1984, I think.
Doel:How did the Royal Society election come about?
Garland:Of course one doesn't inquire too much, but the Royal Society of Canada is what we like to think of as our academy of science. It differs from the U. S. academy as it involves humanities as well as science. It's actually a federation of three academies: science, English speaking humanities, French speaking humanities. Within science for many years very few geophysicists have been elected. Geologists had. Tuzo had been a fellow for many years, but he had been elected by geologists. The physicists tend to elect pure physicists. In the late 1950s I think there was a realization that there were disciplines being left out and then in 1958 Jacobs was elected. I was elected in 1959. I think it was deliberate attempt to look at some of these interdisciplinary areas that had been left out.
Doel:The nominating committees were either physicists or geologists.
Garland:Right. Yes. I know that I was later secretary and then president of the Academy of Science, so I know the difficulties. The time I was president-around 1982-we were still having problems. Experimental psychology was one. Are these people social scientists or physical scientists? We knew there were people in that area that were falling through the cracks. It was a problem. In succeeding years a number of other geophysicists were elected-Don Russell, Ron Farkquar in the society; Ian Gough of Alberta; Charlotte Keen, of Dalhousie who is one of our leading geophysicists working on the ocean floor. There's quite a good group of solid earth geophysics in the Royal Society now. We've tried to make it more active as an academy not just a society that talks to its own members. We've tried to influence government policy on research and funding and so on.
Doel:I'd like to return to an interesting point that you were raising earlier in the context about Britain in the late 1950s. How much influence did the IGY programs have on the research?
Garland:Not very much. I had some colleagues working there. There was a very small group working on upper atmosphere problems. They got some funding for IGY programs. In my own work the only IGY funding was some work in glaciology in cooperation with this university. Tuzo organized an expedition to the Salmon glacier in northern British Columbia and some people from here and some from Alberta went on the party. That was one of the early studies of physical glaciology in Canada and that was IGY related. We were there in the summers of 1956 and 1957. Jacobs was there in the summer of 1956. I was there in the summer of 1957. It was probably Jacobs' only experience in glaciology. He froze his feet!
Doel:Were you able to develop a speakers program?
Garland:We tried very hard, but in the early days it was difficult because of isolation. We got people from the oil companies in Calgary to come up particularly on petroleum exploration. When we could we got people to stop off. I remember we had C. T. Elvey from the University of Alaska. We simply got him to stop off on his way from the southern states up to Alaska. He stopped over between planes, in Edmonton, and gave a very good talk on the urora; very well attended talk.
Doel:That was, of course, his specialty.
Garland:Yes. We did get a few, but it tended to be a little bit isolated in those early days.
Doel:I realize we are not going to have time to fully cover your career back in Toronto. We'll save some things for a subsequent interview.
Garland:The reason is "why" did I come back. In 1960 Tuzo asked me if I would be interested in helping with the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. I said yes and at Helsinki in 1960 I was given a position of assistant secretary general and in 1963 at Berkeley I was elected to the position of secretary general. I realized I could only do this if my university load were lightened and yet at Alberta, as sort of the oldest person in geophysics there, I had a fair amount of responsibility even though I was in the physics department. I thought that I just couldn't go scrabbling for research funds for Alberta and doing this secretary general job. Back here in Toronto where there is a very active group I could probably find little niches to do research in without having to run the whole show, so I decided to come back here. On a discussion with the head of physics I got a fairly light lecturing commitment so I had time to devote to the IUGG.
Doel:Was it still Watson at that time?
Garland:No, it was Welsh-Harry Welsh. Watson left and Welsh, who was a Toronto graduate and had been in the department working on molecular spectroscopy for many years, became head of physics. I was back here twenty-five years because I didn't retire until 1988.
Doel:That raises an interesting question. When you were at Alberta how much time did you spend in proportion of, say, raising research funds and administration versus research?
Garland:Administration in the broader sense, quite a bit of the time. I don't mean just shuffling papers. A lot of it was looking for more people until first Vosoff and then Cumming and then others-
Doel:It was a difficult time.
Garland:Yes, a lot of looking for people. A lot of fun talking with oil companies to get apparatus. We got some seismic gear from oil companies; logistic support. I did heat flow measurements in oil wells in the northwest territories. We got the use of Imperial Oil's airplane to take our equipment and things like this. Interaction with the industry in Calgary and trying to attract people to the university took quite a bit of time. It was a growth period. It was interesting to see it grow.
Doel:When you decided to take on the IUGG responsibility, it clearly was a change from the kinds of work that you'd been doing.
Doel:What was it that persuaded you to do this new responsibility?
Interestingly enough at that time the National Research Council was very supportive of Canadians who wanted to contribute to international science. That isn't the situation today. Wilson had been extremely successful in the IUGG during the IGY and the National Search Council had been supportive of Wilson. They offered to be supportive of me and I had a special grant from them for office support and secretarial support and a certain amount of travel. It looked like a place in which a Canadian could fill a role. We were pretty well accepted in different countries.
It looked like something that was useful and should be done. The IGY was over, but people were talking about new programs — the upper mantle program and programs in external geomagnetism in quiet and active sun years — so it looked pretty interesting from the point of view of international collaboration and programs. I enjoyed my time with the IUGG. The president, who was elected the same year I was elected secretary general in Berkeley, was Joe Kaplan of UCLA. He had been active in Aurora research and raised a great deal of money for the U.S. and for the IGY. Some of the residue of that went back to AGU. I think they are still spending it.
Doel:Is that right?
Garland:I think so.
Doel:Did he seem to you a successful administrator of his role in the IGY?
Garland:Yes. I think he was getting beyond it a little bit by the time he was president of IUGG in 1963 because I think he was still living in the aura of IGY days and any issue that came up he would harp back on how they handled it in IGY days. Sometimes it was relevant, but it wasn't always relevant. He was starting to be a little reminiscent of the past.
Doel:What kind of contact did you have with him on week to week or whatever is appropriate?
Garland:We probably had a closer relationship between the president and secretary general than had been the case for many years in IUGG because we would converse by phone at least once a week. Any correspondence he sent out he would copy to me and anything I sent out I would copy to him. We knew exactly where we stood on issues on a continuing basis.
Doel:What did you see as the greatest challenge for organizing research within the IUGG context when you first came on?
Garland:The IUGG has seven associations. It's something like the old Dominion Observatory problem in that it tends to be hard to get cross-disciplinary programs. They tended to be rather specialized. The ongoing work is important. The association of seismology coordinates seismic observatories around the world and they set standards and arrange for observatories to exchange experiences and so on. In geomagnetism they coordinate magnetic observatories and these things are important-these ongoing things-but I suppose in the shorter term the interesting things are the international programs. I think one of the challenging things was to develop programs in which less developed countries could cooperate. You can design a program that the best equipped countries can collaborate in, but you want to bring in-and you have to get representation of the globe-some of the less developed countries. You have to be aware of their differing needs and their ability to cooperate at a slightly lower level of technology.
Doel:What specific ideas were you thinking about when you were thinking of bringing in the third world?
Garland:We had a program called the World Magnetic Survey that Vestine-Harry Vestine, born in Alberta, but then at the Carnegie Institution coordinated. You could do some things with satellite, but if you want more resolution you need ground surveys and Vestine's committee had the job of putting together a map showing the field of the Earth making as much use as possible of ground surveys. That's the kind of measurement that people in third world countries can make-ground magnetic observations.
Garland:With Vestine's efforts we raised quite a bit of money from UNESCO actually to train and equip observers with ground magnetometers to fill in the map of the magnetic field in these developing countries. They can cooperate, but they don't of course have all the latest digital and airborne equipment and so on. There are areas in which cooperation is possible.
Doel:Wilson had contacts with UNESCO that preceded this.
Garland:That's right. He urged UNESCO to assist in supporting science in developing countries.
There's a great deal more that we could talk about within IUGG-quite a bit of your career-but given what time it is now I think we better draw this interview to a close. Let me thank you very much for this long session. We will not make the tape available to anyone or its transcript without your expressed knowledge and approval as defined in the permission forms that you will be getting from us once the transcript is prepared.