Truthing Gap

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Mapping and naming

I have brief chat today with Peter Hunter, an oceanographic cartographer who tells me more about the processes whereby seamounts and rifts are named. Nowadays it is more formal process than previously and subject to agreement by the country whose waters the feature is found within. Apparently it is usual to choose a name, which marks a connection with the site or operates a gesture of respect towards a contributor to the field. No celebrities or politicians yet. Historically more of a sense of humour seems to have prevailed however as evidenced by the naming of areas of the Rockall Plateau after parts of Middle Earth as described by J. R. R. Tolkien: Eriador Seamount, Rohan Seamount, Gondor Seamount, Fangorn Bank, Edoras Bank, Lorien Knoll, Isengard Ridge along with that perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea the Peake and Freen Deeps of the North Atlantic.