Ambitious $3 Billion Project Aims to Map Every Part of Earth’s Ocean Floor

According to reports, only around nine percent of our planet’s sea bed has been mapped.

We know far less about our planet’s seabed than we know about Mars.

Despite having the technology, only a small part of the seabed has been researched and mapped in high definition.

Image Credit: NOAA'S NATIONAL OCEAN.
Image Credit: NOAA’S NATIONAL OCEAN.

That’s why an ambitious, $3 Billion projects dubbed “Seabed 2030” aim to reveal the mysteries of the deep.

The project could help explore the presence of hidden underwater mountains, trenches but help discover lost wreckages of airplanes and ships as well.

If you go to the deep water, to the deep sea, right up in the center of the Indian Ocean or the Pacific Ocean, you actually could miss entire mountains,” said Geoffroy Lamarche, a team member of Seabed 2030 in an interview with ABC.

Knowing what’s down there is of great importance.

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Our planet is covered in water by as much as 71 percent. Researchers say that less than one fifth (around 18 percent) of the ocean floor has been mapped at all.

What we did manage to map was done so without using high-definition imagery.

The ocean is a big place, and we need to work together to explore it.

The mission to map the ocean floor in HD has already begun. In fact, it kickstarted in 2017 and its main contributors are companies like Dutch energy prospector Fugro and deep-sea mapping firm Ocean Infinity.

Interestingly, both Fugro and Ocean Infinity were involved in the massive search for Malaysian Airline MH370, which disappeared in 2014.

The technology needed to map the seabed is already here.

As noted by the Daily Mail, “with the help of High-tech multibeam echosounders that transmit acoustic beams from a ship and then ping it back depending on the depth and topography of the ocean floor, scientists are creating data points which are later converted into highly detailed seabed maps.”

“With advanced sonar technology, it really is like seeing. I think we’ve come out of the era of being the blind man with the stick,” explained Robert Larter, a marine geophysicist at the British Antarctic Survey.

“We can survey much more efficiently – and, not only that but in much greater detail,” he said, adding that the work was painstaking.

“The ocean’s a big place!” he said.