Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Tufts Abyssal Plain, 1959
The Tufts Abyssal Plain is a 14,000 square mile plain located two and a half miles under the Pacific Ocean off the northwestern coast of the United States. It was named by marine geologist Robert Hurley, A1951.
The plain covers an area twice the size of New England, spanning 350 miles north to south and 400 miles east to west. It is located south of the Aleutian Islands and due west of Seattle.
Hurley, a professor at the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Miami, named the plain in the late 1950s while making oceanographic studies in the area. Hurley felt the name was appropriate as it not only honored the university, but also honored the work of Tufts alumni in the area. Admiral Leo O. Colbert, E1907, a former director of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey that charted nearby Alaskan coastal waters, had hired more survey engineers from Tufts than from any other college. The name therefore honors the Tufts men who were among the first to chart waters in the area.
Source: TAR Winter 1968