The Strait of Gibraltar has a long tradition of political and scientific uniqueness. Twentieth-century submarine warfare added the ocean’s depth as a new dimension for those wanting to control and understand the Strait. During the Cold War the surveillance of this chokepoint became urgent and entangled with local disputes predating the two-blocs conflict, in particular the sovereignty of Gibraltar for which Spain and the United Kingdom competed. This paper explores a number of transnational research programs on ocean dynamics at the Strait and discovers a network of collaborating researchers who used, and went beyond, international institutions such the International Geophysical Year and NATO. In the process, the Western Mediterranean was constructed as a key maritime place for global ocean circulation, both as a factor to North Atlantic convection and as a model through which to understand it.
A Gateway to Ocean Circulation: Surveillance and Sovereignty at Gibraltar
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Lino Camprubí, Sam Robinson; A Gateway to Ocean Circulation: Surveillance and Sovereignty at Gibraltar. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 1 September 2016; 46 (4): 429–459. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/hsns.2016.46.4.429
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