YouTube Picks #184 – Touring the Ocean Bottom

“The ocean — it is the most prominent feature on Earth, and of
immeasurable importance to life on the planet. But what would it look
like if all of the water was drained out of it? Mountains and valleys
that dwarf Everest; shifting plates and undersea volcanoes; seams,
ripples, and plains. Though ships have mapped only a small portion of
the ocean floor, satellites are used to generate incredibly details maps
of the bottom of the ocean. By sensing the minute gravitational changes
that pull, push, and bulge the ocean surface, the bottom’s shape can be
inferred from space. These bathymetric maps reveal the incredibly
dynamic terrain of the ocean. Where available, ship-based measurements
are included to provide even higher detail.
This visualization tours
the ocean floor from the gentle continental slopes to the deepest
trenches using data analyzed and archived by NOAA. Does it look
familiar? It is actually the same data that Google has incorporated into
Google Earth and Ocean.”

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