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Mapping the Depths of the Ocean

by Michael Steinberg
Ocean floor

Geoscience Australia, an Australian government agency, has published topographic data covering 120,000 km of the Indian Ocean sea floor. While searching for the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, the agency conducted a bathymetry survey—a study of underwater depths—by taking high-resolution sonar images of the ocean floor to create detailed 3D maps. The area is now one of the most extensively mapped parts of the ocean floor in the world, and according to the agency, existing maps only covered 10 to 15 percent of the world’s seafloor with this level of detail. Oceanographers, fishermen, and scientists can use the data to help ships navigate, track fish species, study marine geology, and create better tsunami models.  

Get the data.

Image: NASA

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