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BATHYMETRY FROM SPACE

According to Wikipedia definition, Bathymetry is the study of the underwater depth of ocean floors, lake floors, or river floors. It is the underwater equivalent of topography.  The first recorded evidence of water depth measurements is from Ancient Egypt over 3000 years ago!

 

Bathymetry from Space

 

Large-scale coastal bathymetry is paramount to understanding natural and human-induced coastal behavior and plays a vital role in coastal research.

Bathymetric charts depict physiographic features of ocean beds and sea bottoms. Their primary purpose is to provide detailed ocean depth contours as well as the size, shape, and distribution of underwater features.  Charts are typically produced to support the 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 (called soundings)

Bathymetric maps are increasingly important as scientists learn more about the effects of climate change on the environment. Bathymetric surveys can alert scientists to potential erosion, flood, sea-level rise, and land sinking.

 A bathymetric survey helps ship navigation by identifying possible paths that a vessel can safely take since some ocean routes may have rocks and coral deposits or low depths that pose a danger to ships.

The General Bathymetric chart of oceans (GEBCO) data sets are available for ocean and land surveys.

Recently, satellite 2 shores algorithms have been employed to invert coastal bathymetry from wave kinematics, making it possible to use Satellite-derived imagery on regional coastal bathymetry from space for West Africa including; the Gulf of Guinea and the Niger Delta.

Conclusions of Bathymetry from Space

There are various justifications for using portrayals of global synthetic bathymetry: the information coverage is nearly worldwide and reasonably uniform; the acquisition of basic altimetry data by orbiting satellites is relatively cheap and fast compared with conventional depth sounding by ships; it is adequate as a reconnaissance tool over large unmapped features, and it is useful for regional tectonic investigations.

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