Mapping the Arctic Ocean Floor using GIS

Scientists and researchers have been trying everything in their power to map oceans, especially arctic and antarctic oceans, to measure the depth of the water and collect in-depth insights into marine life. In fact, scientists have been analyzing the Antarctic ocean since World War II using technology that supports deep ocean mapping. Even though the traditional technology did prove quite effective in crafting the map of the oceans, the recent advancements in geospatial technology and remote sensing tools have made it possible for scientists to collect better and deeper insights into the ocean.

Program to Measure the Size of Arctic Ocean

The United Nations had launched a program back in 2017, which introduced a challenge for the nations to map the ocean floor. Although remote sensing has been in existence for more than a decade now, the countries couldn’t leverage the techno9logy to its full potential back in 2017. They were able to use it, but they could only map 6% of the total ocean floor. The number has, however, reached 20% now. There is great progress, but there’s still room for improvement. There is so much to explore, analyze, and exploit that the traditional tools and techniques have often proven inadequate. That’s why scientists have now started relying more on modern and advanced technology, such as GIS applications, for better assessment of the ocean.

How are Scientists Mapping the Arctic Ocean?

Mapping the arctic ocean has become a primary goal of environmentalists, not only because it tells you more about the species living in the ocean and how it affects the weather and temperature, but because of the acidification and damages occurring because of that. The extent to which these factors are affecting marine life, weather, and oceans has remained unknown. And, it is hard to get detailed insights into the oceans until you draw a detailed map of them. This explains why researchers have been using GIS to draw maps of the ocean.

Today, mapping has become possible with the help of GIS (geographic information system). The technology doesn’t need an introduction. Scientists mount remote sensing tools on airplanes and satellites to gather high-resolution and clear images of the oceans, subglacial lakes lying beneath the ocean, the thickness of the ice covering the water, and marine life. Put it in simple terms, GIS and remote-sensing tools provide you with a clear and detailed view of the arctic ocean floor.

The biggest goal of researchers is to explore as much area by 2030 as possible. There is no denying that scientists have made great efforts in researching a wide area. After all, covering 20% of the ground is a big deal. However, there are still large areas that are not mapped yet. It might take years (if not decades) for researchers to explore and analyze the vast ocean fully. Even then, there is no guarantee whether or not they will be able to explore the full ocean, as the space is quite big.