In the last decades, bathymetry in the Southern Ocean became increasingly important. With evolving science, researchers gained interest in the topography of the seafloor. This knowledge is not just used for marine traffic or geographical purposes. Bathymetry data found their way into oceanographic models, reconstructing ice sheet history, explaining geological processes and habitat characterization. Fortunately, new techniques were developed that improved accuracy within acquisition systems, as well as computational power and storing capacities. The following charts demonstrate how the amount of recorded data has changed over the last 70 years.
The data volume for each year shows recurring cycles with more frequent visits after the 1980s.
The upper figure shows mostly a continuously raising trend of data increase over the past 30 years beginning after 1990.
The following charts show in addition the spatial coverage’s in relation to the cruises and the amount of gathered data. A subdivided database of 100 km x 100 km tiles was used when identifying data outliers and erroneous data during the iterative cleaning process.
If you are interested any additional statistics or in contributing data, please see the following: