One-fifth of Earth’s ocean floor is now mapped

News: The mapping of nearly one-fifth of the world’s ocean floor has been finished under the Seabed 2030 Project.


  • Seabed 2030 Project: It is a collaborative project between the Nippon Foundation of Japan and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO).
  • The project was launched at the United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference in 2017 and is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.
  • Aim: To bring together all available bathymetric data to produce the definitive map of the world ocean floor by 2030 and make it available to all.
    • Bathymetry is the measurement of the shape and depth of the ocean floor.
  • Significance:
    • Knowing the depth and shape of the seafloor (bathymetry) is fundamental for understanding ocean circulation, tides, tsunami forecasting, fishing resources among others.
    • The maps would also ensure a better understanding of climate change since floor features canyons and underwater volcanoes which influences the weather and climate.

Additional Facts:

  • Nippon Foundation: It is a non-profit philanthropic organisation in Japan which is active around the world.
  • GEBCO: It is an international group of mapping experts developing a range of bathymetric data sets and data products. 
    • It operates under the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission(IOC).