The research findings included in Journal Science have turned into a hallmark discovery in earth sciences. It uncovers various minute details about the trenches and mountains which sink and rise beneath the waves. It also has a map of world seafloor which provides an efficient approach to the continents formation.
A scientific model having the ability to measure the gravity at ocean seafloor was used to make the new map. It used the data from ESA’s CryoSat-2 satellite which is responsible for examining polar ice and also works on the oceans 24/7. Moreover researchers took the data from NASA’s satellite, Jason-1, which was redirected to map the gravity field during the last year of its 12-year mission.
It showed various unprecedented features like new indication for spreading seafloor ridges at the Gulf of Mexico that were active before almost 150 million years but are now shrouded by mile-thick coating of sediments along with the newly visible connections between Africa and South America which gives the vibrant proof of how these continents are formed and are still changing today.
The author in the report writes:
“One of the most important uses of the new marine gravity field will be to improve the estimates of seafloor depth in the 80 percent of the oceans that remains uncharted or is buried beneath thick sediment”
Richard Francis, co-author of the new paper, in a news release stated that:
“Although CryoSat-2’s primary mission is the cryosphere, we knew as soon as we selected its orbit that it would be invaluable for marine geodesy, and this work proves the point.”
The findings will also be used for future research. In a nut shell, these findings provided the basic foundation for the upcoming new version of Google’s ocean maps in order to fill large gaps between shipboard depth profiles.