Story: Charting the sea floor

Mapping submarine volcanoes

Multibeam mapping collects a wealth of information about the seabed. Layers can be placed on top of one another to give different perspectives. These maps are of the submarine volcano Haungaroa, north-east of New Zealand. The first layer shows water depth, indicated by colour. The second layer also shows depth, depicted by isobaths (underwater contours). The third layer shows topography by shaded relief, which presents more of a three-dimensional view. The fourth layer shows the different types of rock and sediment. The fifth layer depicts sea-floor habitats, plotted using the previous four layers together with information gathered from seabed samples.

Using this item

NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

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How to cite this page:

Lionel Carter, 'Charting the sea floor - Multibeam echo sounding', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 10 July 2020)

Story by Lionel Carter, published 12 Jun 2006