Titanic wreck discoverer speaks at Ocean Floor Forum

Challenger Society for Marine Science
Forum for Future Ocean Floor Mapping ©

26 May 2016

Dr Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1985, is among keynote speakers at a major conference on the comprehensive mapping of the ocean floor to be held in Monaco in June 2016. Dr Ballard is Director of the Center for Ocean Exploration at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography and President of the Ocean Exploration Trust, which operates one of America’s dedicated ships of exploration.

The conference, the Forum for Future Ocean Floor Mapping, is being held jointly by the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) and The Nippon Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

The Forum will bring together over 150 senior representatives, scientists and scholars from major ocean-related and international organisations to discuss the importance of understanding the shape of the ocean floor. The Forum will culminate in the development of a Roadmap for Future Ocean Floor Mapping.


GEBCO consists of an international group of experts who develop a range of bathymetric data sets and data products with the aim of providing the most authoritative publicly-available bathymetry for the world’s oceans. It operates under the joint auspices of the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) and the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).

The GEBCO chart series was initiated in 1903 by Prince Albert I of Monaco and five paper editions of the GEBCO chart series were produced. Since the Fifth Edition was published in the 1980s, GEBCO has largely concentrated on developing and making available digital bathymetric data sets and products.


Through funding provided by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) has been involved in GEBCO’s activities since the early 1990s – hosting the role of the GEBCO Digital Atlas Manager on behalf of GEBCO. This has involved developing the GEBCO Digital Atlas (GDA), maintaining and delivering GEBCO’s gridded bathymetric data sets and hosting and maintaining GEBCO’s web site.

Pauline Weatherall (GEBCO Digital Atlas Manager) and Graham Allen (Head of BODC and GEBCO Guiding Committee member) look forward to meeting you at this exciting Forum for Future Ocean Floor Mapping.