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NOAA Releases New Views of Earth's Ocean Floor

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the down-where-it's-wetter dept.

Earth 33

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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33 comments

Been waiting for this since the 90's... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39711983)

First! Seriously cool stuff though. As most geeks here will know, we know more about outer space than we do our own oceans. Every new little bit of detail we get is just more and more fascinating as it knits the bigger picture together.

Re:Been waiting for this since the 90's... (1)

CanEHdian (1098955) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712859)

Well, that's what we all knew would happen when seaQuest DSV [wikipedia.org] was cancelled...

Re:Been waiting for this since the 90's... (2)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715163)

What do we really know about outer space... up until recently we were not sure there were planets in other solar systems, we were not even sure there was water on the moon... so it is a fair question, what do we really know about outer space?

And yes I would like to learn more about the ocean floor too :)

Re:Been waiting for this since the 90's... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39720375)

We still don't know if there's life on Mars.

Re:Been waiting for this since the 90's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754821)

Then stop that lawman from beating up the wrong guy!

How long until... (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712041)

...it is shown in Google Maps? More to the point, how long before long, straight stretches of seabed start to affect driving directions?

Step 23: Swim across the Marianas Trench.

Re:How long until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39713241)

Correction Swim UNDER the Marianas Trench....anyone can swim across it...

Re:How long until... (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714593)

With a mean width of 69 km, I'd be pretty impressed by anyone who can actually swim across it.

Re:How long until... (1)

red_dragon (1761) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714893)

Step 23: Swim across the Marianas Trench.

Step 33: Swim across the Atlantic Ocean [blogspot.com] -- 3,462 miles.

Re:How long until... (1)

arbulus (1095967) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715205)

I asked for directions from Florida to South Korea and it told me to drive to California and then kayak to South Korea.

Google Maps for the Oceans? (5, Informative)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:Google Maps for the Oceans? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713421)

My God... It's full of (sea) stars!

Re:Google Maps for the Oceans? (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715177)

must be lucy at it again in the sky with diamonds :)

Re:Google Maps for the Oceans? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39719895)

It's 'full of starfish', ya dork.

I read... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712119)

so where's the glass-like pyramid?

I read about it on th e'net, so it must be true.

The Old Ones will be pissed..... (1)

longfalcon (202977) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712179)

to avoid upsetting them, I fully expect the location of Ry'leh to be blurred....

Re:The Old Ones will be pissed..... (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716101)

Bit too late for that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloop [wikipedia.org]

In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits snoring.

Are you sure? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712285)

Can we really trust liberal big government scientists to give us an unbiased view of the ocean floor? I just think we should wait until all the facts are in before we take their word for it.

Re:Are you sure? (3, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712689)

And where are the dragons?? Ocean maps always had dragons on them until liberal Eastern intellectuals got involved. I firmly believe that we should be teaching Dragon Theory in oceanography classes. If not, we should at least be teaching how Dragon Theory is being suppressed by the liberal media intelligentsia.

Re:Are you sure? (2)

TheRedDuke (1734262) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713593)

Good news - most of the big oil companies have contributed and/or paid for data in this collection, so at least some of the data will be trustworthy.

Re:Are you sure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39715581)

There was me thinking this survey came from that right-thinking Christian who built the ark and all...

Squiggly lines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712291)

Horrible map. It's got a whole bunch of squiggly lines all over it!

Re:Squiggly lines? (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712401)

Talking about the long horizontal squiggly lines on the ocean floor which are visible from outer space (eg zoom out google earth), would any oceanology be so kind to explain in layman's terms how these were formed? Meteorites? Or just give me the official name so I can wiki it ;-)

Re:Squiggly lines? (1)

cycler (31440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712681)

It is known that some areas have been better surveyed and thus have a better accuracy. Compared to the area beside it will show as lines.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2009/feb/20/sun-atlantis-google-ocean [guardian.co.uk]

/C

Re:Squiggly lines? (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713087)

So that's where Atlantis is.. -24.400, 31.360 - thanks!

Re:Squiggly lines? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Squiggly lines? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714439)

Horrible map. It's got a whole bunch of squiggly lines all over it!

Oh, that's just a grammar problem. The squigglies won't show up when you print.

A few days, tops (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712609)

Before someone finds the sunken Tinfoil Hats of the Gods, and predicted by Erich von DÃniken.

modk down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39713609)

shaal we? OK!

Neptune Massive (1)

johkir (716957) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716195)

I can't find it on there. Laurentian Abyssal Plain (canal) - check. Reykjanes Ridge (Red Route One) - check. Neptune Massive.......nope! Is Russia suppressing this info? Wait, what's 'Neptune Massive' in Russian?

thanks for all the fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39718051)

Maps like these help fishers work untouched seamounts and canyons. The Unnatural History of the Sea quotes a Gulf of Maine fisherman: "This stuff has turned the ocean into a glass table. The stuff's so good you can find [some pinnacle], which would be completely surrounded by cod .. and which before you would have steered clear of for fear you'd lose your net, and you can fish it so closely, going around and around, that you can pick virtually every last fish off the thing."

Capt Schettino approves (1)

MiG82au (2594721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39718303)

Maybe a certain Mr Schettino could make use of this data when buzzing coastlines :p
(His claim that he hit uncharted rocks is actually true when looking at one of the old and coarse UK bathymetry datasets)

Nice to see some of my work (1)

goatbar (661399) | more than 2 years ago | (#39719509)

It's nice to see some of my work come to light. I created prototypes for this back a few years ago with Google Earth and GDAL for the Bathymetric Attributed Grids (BAG) file from Hydrographic Surveys... http://youtu.be/7fOTlqqQ5O4 [youtu.be] Or build a visualization yourself using the code: https://github.com/schwehr/bag-py [github.com]
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