Stow this book in a sailboat for moments when you're becalmed. A random flipping of the pages will convince you that this moment of wind and weather quiescence is rare. Not only does the sea change, but its changes are frequently violent at abyssal depths of 30,000 feet as well as on the surface. The authors, research scientists at Lamont Geological Laboratory, have attempted a popular compendium of all the theories and facts of oceanography, a sizable undertaking considering that this directly or indirectly involves nearly every other science from archaeology to zoology, not to mention economics or war. What starts as an underwater travelogue of mountains and valleys, volcanoes and streams, ends with implications about the shape and age of the earth, the atmosphere, and life itself. Such a compass asks too much of two authors and one book, and indeed, the chapters have a tendency to run on as though yet another index card had been found and a fact had to be added. But there is so much information here you can skip over parts that tend toward tedium and still derive much satisfaction. Oceanography is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and still dangerous of scientific pursuits, and the authors convey an enthusiasm and appeal which should serve the field better than Congress has in recent months, since it has sharply cut research funds.