Where are the bathymetric hot spots?
Acoustic measurements of depth are distributed unevenly across the floor of the World Ocean. Concentration is greatest in areas important to navigation, to fishing and resource recovery, to extended continental shelves and to smaller areas of special interest. Beyond those zones, data consist largely of random tracks of widely varying spacing and arrangement, with no planned redundancy, collected by different equipment over many years. As a result, there is a wide range of uncertainty, vertical resolution and horizontal resolution within each individual ocean-wide map. Trying to correct this undesirable situation has been one major preoccupation of some GEBCO members. Efforts have included trying to establish a program to systematically survey the entire ocean, encouraging other marine science organizations and funders to support the collection of depth data on all cruises, seeking data from industry, using other platforms to carry echo sounders, and seeking access to the bathymetry measured and used for submissions to the CLCS under Article 76. There have been some successes, and general agreement that bathymetry is important, few have given bathymetry a high priority and disappointingly little data has surfaced. One reason seems to be that few outside the field appreciate that bathymetry has some valuable scientific and societal contributions to make. This presentation suggests one action that may change this incorrect perception. Participants will be asked to nominate an area where improved bathymetry could help solve a scientific problem or illuminate a line of enquiry, or contribute to one of the societal issues within the ocean. The resulting suggestions will be compiled into a paper for submission to one of the widely-distributed general science journals, under the authorship of the suggestors, bringing attention to the value of bathymetry to nonbathymetrists and hopefully stimulating increased collection and archiving of acoustic depth data.
Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping
Journal or Conference Title
GEBCO Bathymetric Science Day
Oct 2 2012
Monahan, Dave, "Where are the bathymetric hot spots?" (2012). GEBCO Bathymetric Science Day. 855.