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EXPLORING THE OCEAN BASINS WITH SATELLITE ALTIMETER DATA

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Author Topic: EXPLORING THE OCEAN BASINS WITH SATELLITE ALTIMETER DATA  (Read 2031 times)
Karissa Oleyanin
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« on: February 01, 2009, 02:14:49 am »

On a broad scale the topography of the ocean floor reflects the cooling and subsidence of the plates as they move away from the spreading center. While this process is fairly well understood, there are interruptions in this normal subsidence caused by mantle plumes and other types of solid-state convection in the mantle of the Earth that are current topics of research. As the seafloor ages it also becomes covered by a slow rain of sediments. The analysis of the gravity data along with measured can be used to map the thickness of the sedimentary layers.

Related Site - Predicted and Measured Seafloor Topography





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Planning Shipboard Surveys
The satellite-derived gravity grids reveal all of the major structures of the ocean floor having widths greater than 10-15 km (6-9 mi). This resolution matches the total swath width of the much higher multibeam mapping system on a ship (100 m resolution) so the gravity maps are the perfect reconnaissance tool for planning the more detailed shipboard surveys. Scientists aboard research vessels use the gravity grids along with other measurements to optimize their survey strategy; in many cases this is done in real time. The cost to operate a research vessel is typically $20,000 per day so these gravity data have become an essential item.





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