Bathymetry

Bathymetry (/bəˈθɪmətri/; from Ancient Greek βαθύς (bathús) 'deep', and μέτρον (métron) 'measure')[1][2] is the study of underwater depth of ocean floors (seabed topography), lake floors, or river floors. In other words, bathymetry is the underwater equivalent to hypsometry or topography. The first recorded evidence of water depth measurements are from Ancient Egypt over 3000 years ago.[3] Bathymetric (or hydrographic) charts are typically produced to support safety of surface or sub-surface navigation, and usually show seafloor relief or terrain as contour lines (called depth contours or isobaths) and selected depths (soundings), and typically also provide surface navigational information. Bathymetric maps (a more general term where navigational safety is not a concern) may also use a Digital Terrain Model and artificial illumination techniques to illustrate the depths being portrayed. The global bathymetry is sometimes combined with topography data to yield a global relief model. Paleobathymetry is the study of past underwater depths.

Bathymetry of the ocean floor showing the continental shelves (red) and the mid-ocean ridges (yellow-green)

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Bathymetry, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.