Most Detailed Map of Seafloor published

Scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have claimed that they have created the most detailed seafloor map ever after using satellite data. The data for the map has been collected with the help of satellites and some remote sensing tools helped develop the model that is twice as accurate compared to the models in the past.

Researchers believe that they could find another 25,000 peaks in addition to 5,000 previously-discovered ones that are at the bottom of the ocean. They also said that these peaks are almost 1.5 kilometer high. Scientists said that the tools that were early used for the previously accepted measurements missed 90% of the details.

The latest research project was carried out by the renowned geophysicist David Sandwell of Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. He along with his team of researchers’ deployed data sourced from satellite based radar altimeter to find out the missing link in the seafloor.

David Sandwell said, “A seamount, for example, exerts a gravitational pull, and warps the sea surface outward so we can map the bottom of the ocean indirectly, using sea-surface topography”.

The latest seafloor map has showed thousands of unknown mountains rising from the seafloor known as “seamounts”. The map acts as a window into the ocean’s tectonics as researchers believe that seamounts and earthquakes are linked to each other.

Detailing the map further, Sandwell stated that previously unseen features include continental connections across South America and Africa, and new evidences for seafloor spreading ridges in the Gulf of Mexico. These ridges were active almost 150 million years ago and are now being buried by mile-thick layers of sediment.

According to the researchers, the latest findings will help improve the estimates of seafloor depth of the 80% of the oceans that remain unexplored or are buried beneath thick sediment.

San Diego