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Mapping Earth's Ocean Floor

Posted on 16 July 2020

Earth’s ocean floor is a dark and mysterious place, and one that scientists have only recently started uncovering. Now, they’ve successfully managed to map one-fifth of it! 

In 2017, the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project was launched in an effort to map the entire ocean floor. When the project first started, only 6% had been mapped. Now, scientists have mapped 19%, or 14.5 million square kilometres. To get an idea of how big that is, it’s roughly twice the size of Australia. The remaining 81% is about twice the size of Mars! Who knew the ocean floor was so huge? 

Mapping the ocean floor is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps with navigation, and with laying things like cables and pipes. Second, it tells researchers a lot about the types of life that live on the ocean floor as well as how they live. It also assists scientists in understanding how the ocean’s currents work. And lastly, with more understanding of the ocean floor, scientists can better examine how the climate crisis will affect the planet, mainly in terms of rising sea levels.