Lawrence Morley

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Lawrence Morley
Born Lawrence Whitaker Morley
(1920-02-19)February 19, 1920
Toronto, Ontario
Died April 22, 2013(2013-04-22) (aged 93) [1]
Leith, Ontario
Residence  Canada
Citizenship Canadian
Nationality Canadian
Fields Geophysics
Alma mater University of Toronto
Known for Founding the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing
Study of magnetic properties of ocean crust.
Notable awards Officer of the Order of Canada, 1999
McCurdy award, 1974

Lawrence Whitaker Morley (February 19, 1920 – April 22, 2013) was a Canadian geophysicist. He was best known for his studies on the magnetic properties of ocean crust and their effect on plate tectonics.


Morley worked with Britons Fred Vine and Drummond Matthews. The three contributed significantly to geology by relating the magnetic properties of ocean crust to the processes involved in the theory of plate tectonics. Following graduate studies at the University of Toronto, Morley became Director of the Geophysics Branch of the Geological Survey of Canada in Ottawa (1950–1969). In 1970 he founded the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing and served as its General Director until 1979.

In 1974, Morley received an honorary degree from York University.[3] He approached the university's faculty of science in 1985 to promote the creation of an institute of space research, which was founded by himself in 1986 as the Institute for Space and Terrestrial Science (ISTS).[4]

Morley served as a radar officer for the Royal Canadian Navy during the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War. He has published over 65 scientific and technical papers on mineral exploration and remote sensing.[5]

Morley was awarded a Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 1995.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lawrence Morley: Obituary". The Ottawa Citizen. April 26, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Lawrence Whittaker Morley". Scientist profiles. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ Honorary Degree Recipients. Retrieved February 12, 2007.
  4. ^ Morley, L. (1993) Remote sensing then and now. Ottawa: CCRS
  5. ^ Ontario Association of Remote Sensing. Retrieved February 12, 2007.