A deep-sea pioneer and a marine biologist have teamed their talents to produce this oversized guide to the world’s oceans. Employing the latest in satellite imaging and cartographic techniques, they have combined more than 60 maps and 230 color illustrations with their expertise to produce a stunning record of two thirds of the earth’s surface. Introductory chapters outline basic physical, geological and biological characteristics of the oceans. Detailed sketches of the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic and Southern Oceans include discussions of their formation, physical characteristics, boundaries, tides, currents, weather and marine life. Separate maps illustrate the ocean floor, surface temperatures, chlorophyll levels and political features with depths. Smaller bodies of water like the Caribbean, Mediterranean and the China Sea are sketched in less detail in single maps representing both political and physical features. The volume concludes with chapters exploring ocean research and prospects for the future. Other maps illustrate the tectonic movement, volcanic activity, the age of the ocean crust, the features of the global ocean observation system, sea ice fluctuations and the impact of human activity. Some 31 marine scientists and activists provide brief invited essays such related topics as rising sea levels, tsunamis, the Census of Marine Life, the Northwest Passage and oceanic observations from space. Cross-references throughout the volume include Web sites as well as other sections of the atlas. Numerous statistical tables, a general bibliography and both general and place-name indexes support the text and maps. The result is an entertaining but educational tool that is highly recommended for school, public and academic libraries.