We’ve mapped other planets to more detail than we have our own oceans. How close are we to a complete ocean map?
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The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project
“Seabed 2030 is a collaborative project between the Nippon Foundation and GEBCO. It aims to bring together all available bathymetric data to produce the definitive map of the world ocean floor by 2030 and make it available to all. It builds on more than 100 years of GEBCO's history in global seafloor mapping”
Why The First Complete Map of the Ocean Floor Is Stirring Controversial Waters
“It could also be potentially lifesaving: Even today, the lack of a detailed map can be deadly, as was the case when the USS San Francisco crashed into an uncharted mountain in 2005. “People have been excited about going to different planets,” says Martin Jakobsson, professor of marine geology and geophysics at Stockholm University, but “we haven’t been able to bring the attention to our own Earth in the same way as Mars. It hasn’t been easy to rally the whole world behind us.” Yet at the same time, some ecologists fear that such a map will also aid mining industries who seek profit in the previously unattainable depths of the Earth.”
The Ocean: Haven’t We Already Mapped It?
“Most of the seafloor that has been mapped thoroughly is close to shore. Thanks to all of the hydrographers that constantly survey the world’s coastlines, we now have nautical charts (specialized maps) that are used to safely navigate ships. Coastal areas are well surveyed and often re-surveyed because seafloor conditions continuously change, especially close to shore. Hydrographers make sure that ships have the information they need to navigate safely by detecting and reporting new hazards to navigation with each chart update.”
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