International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO)

IBCSO is the authoritative map of the Southern Ocean with the largest database of depth measurements. With billions of soundings contributed by organisations across the globe, it portrays the Southern Ocean seafloor in so-far unprecedented detail.

IBCSO is a regional mapping initiative of the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO). It is closely associated with and supported by the Nippon Foundation – GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project (Seabed 2030).

GEBCO is a project under the auspice of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. Furthermore, IBCSO is an Expert Group of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).

1,480 datasets

including 950 multibeam datasets and 498 singlebeam datasets

88 organisations collected data

we’ve got the whole ABC of hydrography except for institutes starting with Q, X, Y or Z

Pooling data from 22 countries

That’s app. 16% of all countries bordering at least one ocean!

The IBCSO projection has it's own EPSG code now!

Our polar stereographic projection used in IBCSO is now registered under EPSG 9354!

25.5 billion soundings

entered the processing pipeline for IBCSO v2, that’s roughly 6 times as many soundings as was available for IBCSO v1 with 4.2 billion soundings!

23.6 % of the Southern Ocean is mapped by true data!

22.4% of all ocean cells were covered by multibeam data, 1.2% by singlebeam and less than 0.06% by other sources (at a resolution of 500x500m)!


IBCSO Version 2 released

After 9 years of gathering, cleaning, processing and interpolating data, we are very excited to announce the release of IBCSO Version 2. Approximately 1,500 datasets from more than 20 countries and over 80 organizations were combined to produce the...

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What is bathymetry and the aim of exploring the seafloor? An interview with Boris Dorschel and WDR (in German).

RV Polarstern live tracker

Follow statistics on IBCSO Version 2 publication