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Earth Science

NOAA Releases New Views of Earth's Ocean Floor 33

Posted by samzenpus
from the down-where-it's-wetter dept.
fishmike writes "NOAA has made sea floor maps and other data on the world's coasts, continental shelves and deep ocean available for easy viewing online. Anyone with Internet access can now explore undersea features and obtain detailed depictions of the sea floor and coasts, including deep canyons, ripples, landslides and likely fish habitat. The new online data viewer compiles sea floor data from the near shore to the deep blue, including the latest high-resolution bathymetric (sea bottom) data collected by NOAA's Office of Coast Survey primarily to support nautical charting."
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NOAA Releases New Views of Earth's Ocean Floor

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  • by dryriver (1010635) on Tuesday April 17, 2012 @12:57PM (#39712087)
    It seems to work much the same way Google Maps/Earth, except that you can dial in different data overlays like : Fishmaps, Geological maps, Hazards (Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Volcanoes). Quite neat. And probably very useful if you are a scientist/academic studying this kind of data.
  • Re:Squiggly lines? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, 2012 @02:09PM (#39713237)

    They're called ship tracklines [noaa.gov]. They are the path of the ship that made the bathymetry (water depth) survey. Generally speaking, there is broad, low-resolution bathymetry from all the world's oceans. It is derived from satellite gravity measurements. On top of that there are "groundtruth" surveys conducted by ships with fathometers to measure the ocean depth. Inevitably, these differ by a slight amount from the lower-resolution data. Ship tracks will have a variety of geometries, but if you are trying to cover a specific area, a grid-like geometry is common. Put those more precise values into the lower-resolution grid and you get interesting-looking patterns that have nothing to do with the actual sea-floor bathymetry. They just represent the places the ship traveled.

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