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The importance of mapping the seafloor

The ocean surface is vast and hides an entire world underneath it. The ocean floor is sometimes called the final frontier of the modern era. Though people have traveled on the ocean for millennia, people have explored only a tiny fraction of the ocean floor. We know very little about the vast expanse of our oceans.
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Nature and Context

Today’s technology has allowed us to learn more about the seafloor, including both its physical properties and its effects on living organisms. Three main obstacles have kept us from studying the depths of the ocean: absence of light, very cold temperatures, and high pressure. While we have come a long way, we still have much to learn. Recent studies have helped update the topography of the ocean floor which is leading to new insights each day.

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Ideas Description

The University of Sydney researchers from the Earthbyte Group collaborated with data experts from National ICT Australia (NICTA) to develop a new map of the seafloor. The new map was created over the course of half a century from samples obtained on research ships. Ultimately, the map has thrown up several questions that show we do not yet fully understand the marine carbon cycle, but this will now be the source of future research projects.

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