News and events

A Quest to map the Seafloor by 2030

The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS San Francisco  in dry dock to assess damage sustained after running aground approximately 350 miles south of GuamThe Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS San Francisco in dry dock to assess damage sustained after running aground approximately 350 miles south of Guam ©

04 October 2016

It is often said that we know more about the surface of Mars than we do about our own global seafloor. Even today, more than 85 per cent of the world ocean floor remains unmapped with modern mapping methods.

A group of scientists and mariners is determined to change that. In June, the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), an organisation that is affiliated with the United Nations, convened in Monaco and hammered out an ambitious plan to map most of the world’s seafloor by 2030.

The Forum for Future Ocean Floor Mapping was attended by over 150 senior representatives, scientists, scholars and business associates from major ocean related organisations from around the world.

It has endorsed the objective of Seabed 2030 – that the comprehensive mapping of the entire ocean floor is possible by the year 2030. 

Read an article on Newsweek's web site about GEBCO, the Forum and seafloor mapping.

About GEBCO

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.

More information on the GEBCO web site.

About BODC and GEBCO

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.

 


Related BODC pages

More news and events      GEBCO at BODC

Related external links

General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO)   GEBCO’s gridded bathymetric data sets
GEBCO Digital Atlas (GDA)