Story: Charting the sea floor

Undersea New Zealand

Undersea New Zealand

When this chart was published by the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research in 1998, it changed people’s ideas about the sea floor around New Zealand. The colours indicate depth. Red and yellow depict shallower water (0–1,000 metres), while dark blue and purple show deep water (more than 5,000 metres). The use of coloured relief shading lent clarity to features such as the continent, canyons, and recently discovered seamounts and sea-floor channels. Much of this detail was the result of new mapping techniques using multiple sound beams.

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NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

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How to cite this page:

Lionel Carter, 'Charting the sea floor - Evolution of modern charting', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 May 2022)

Story by Lionel Carter, published 12 Jun 2006