Marine conservation gets a boost with a detailed 3D map of ocean floor

The detailed 3D map, which will be updated at least every five years, is a boon for researchers, governments, and conservationists. The tool can be used to better understand the world in which we live in.

Turns out we know more about the moon and Mars than we do about our ocean on this very planet. Sounds absurd doesn’t it?

To perhaps to set things right, teams of researchers have created a 3 dimensional map of our oceans – the body of water that occupies most of our planet.

Water bodies around the world have been sorted into 37 categories, which have varied components such as salinity levels, temperatures, nutrient and oxygen levels.

Although there are existing maps of water bodies, however they mostly focus on either coastal ecosystems or surface water bodies.

Officially known as the ecological marine units (EMUs), this project has mapped water bodies from the surface of our planet to the depths of the ocean floor. Its map have taken into consideration the frigid waters of the deep sea, the oxygen-deprived Red Sea and the Black Sea as well as some rivers in the Northern Hemisphere.

Since we have yet to explore most of our oceans, the creators of this new map were hamstrung and had to rely on data averaged over five decades from the World Ocean Atlas.

During the course of the project, they have also contributed with their own creation, such as the shape of the sea floor. By using statistical techniques, the teams have been able to group the results into categories. However, so as to keep things accurate and updated, the calculations need to be redone, at least, once in every 5 years.

The map is likely to help researchers, conservationists and government officials make decisions for marine preservation. It will also help researchers figure out why certain marine species live in their current habitat.

Esri is one of the teams that helped create the EMU’s geographical information system. Click here if you are interested in checking out the 3D version of the map.

Incidentally, Esri is also working on another high-tech information mapping project – the Urban Observatory.

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