An Interactive Global Map of Sea Floor Topography Based on Satellite Altimetry & Ship Depth Soundings

Meghan Miller, Walter H.F. Smith, John Kuhn, & David T. Sandwell

NOAA Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry

The following is an interactive version of the Smith & Sandwell (1997) global ocean bathymetry map, the most complete, high-resolution image of sea floor topography currently available. The map was constructed by blending depth soundings collected from ships with detailed gravity anomaly information obtained from the Geosat and ERS-1 satellite altimetry missions. This combination of data yields a globally uniform level of resolution ideal for displaying major tectonic features, such as mid-ocean spreading ridges or fracture zones. To examine a particular area in more detail, select a zoom factor, then click on a point in the map. The next image will be zoomed and centered on that point. To generate an annotated GMT/PostScript version of a particular map, or an Ascii file (longitude, latitude, elevation/depth in meters), click on the appropriate button below the map, then click on "Here" to download.

Zoom Factor (longitudinal coverage in degrees):

72.0N 0.0E
72.0S 0.0E

Click on to produce an annotated PostScript file (~2Mb) of the map shown above.

Click on to produce an XYZ Ascii file (~5Mb) of the map shown above.

Smith, Walter H.F., and David T. Sandwell, "Global Sea Floor Topography from Satellite Altimetry and Ship Depth Soundings", Science, 277, 1956-1962, 1997

A 34"x53" color poster of the global map can be purchased from the NOAA National Data Centers' Online Store

Also see NOAA Compilation of Multibeam Swath Bathymetry.

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