Bathymetry: Features and Hypsography

Authored by: Heidi M. Dierssen , Albert E. Theberge

Coastal and Marine Environments

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138339637
eBook ISBN: 9780429441004
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9780429441004-20

 Download Chapter

 

Abstract

The study of the distribution of elevations on the Earth or hypsography shows how more than half of the world ocean is dominated by deep basins (4–6.5 km) covered with abyssal plains and hills. Seafloor from 2 to 4 km depth is primarily comprised of oceanic ridge systems that spread over ~30% of the seafloor. The shallow seas and continental margins from sea level to 2 km depth cover the least amount of area and represent only ~15% of the seafloor. Superimposed on the primary features of the seafloor landscape are secondary features such as the median valley, seamounts, and submarine canyons. Finescale geomorphology of the underwater landscape and discontinuities in bathymetry are increasingly being used to assess distributions of marine organisms. New terminology and computational methods identify seafloor features that enhance marine biodiversity and allow for better management of vulnerable marine ecosystems.

 Cite
Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.