Vast Sonar Map Reveals The Seabed Around Antarctica as Never Seen Before

A map depicting the Southern Ocean floor in unparalleled depth has been produced by scientists.

The new photos, which were created using years of sonar data, depict deep-sea canyons, ridges, and mountains.

On Tuesday, the map was published in Scientific Data, a peer-reviewed magazine. It's part of the Seabed 2030 project of the Nippon Foundation General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), which intends to map the entire ocean bottom by 2030.

According to the foundation, just 21% of the world's seabeds have been carefully mapped thus far.

"The map is so important as it provides the most accurate knowledge on the shape of the seafloor," Boris Dorschel, the paper's primary author, told Insider in an email.

Dorschel is the leader of the regional center southern ocean of the seabed 2030 Project and a senior scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Germany.

"It is a visual extension of the terrestrial world we know below the waves. We now can see canyons, channels, and mounts in great detail in many places," Dorschel explained.

Bathymetry was used to compile measurements made by ships sailing the waters surrounding Antarctica to create the map.

It gives critical data that may be used to enhance climate change models by revealing more about how the world's waters flow.

The way ocean water mixes, and hence its temperature, is affected by the structure of the seafloor, which influences global temperatures.

According to the BBC, better mapping might aid attempts to save marine species. Because fish and other creatures concentrate around underwater mountains, understanding where they are can assist people in identifying appropriate conservation areas.

"Personally I cannot stop moving over the map and enjoying the sight," project leader Dorschel stated.