Oct08

Satellites create first map of ocean floor

2014 at 12:48 pm by admin

ArticleOceanMap1

Researchers at the Scripps Insitituion of Oceanography, located in San Diego, California, have taken advantage of innovative technology in order to create the world’s first complete map of the ocean floor! Older seafloor maps only mapped about 10% of the depths, leaving 90% of the ocean uncharted and unknown. Thanks to never-before-used technology aboard the CryoSat-2 and Jason-1 satellites, a full map has finally been created. These satellites gathered the data by measuring the density of gravity across the ocean floor and turning it into usable altimeter data.

ArticleOceanMap2

The satellites, which sent out thousands of radar pulses a second, were able to calculate the topography of the ocean floor with gravity due to the nature of large objects. Matter with extra mass warps the gravitational field around it, which is what the satellites used to create the maps. The maps show off the valleys and mountain ranges of the ocean floor, and even denote the locations of large earthquakes with red dots, showing off the massive fault lines of the Earth’s crust. Researchers hope that these maps will be used to help survey ships, underwater exploration vessels, and even one day create a high-resolution map of the entire ocean floor.

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