The journal Science has published an astonishing study that shows how the oceans had far more mountains, thousands of them than anyone had expected. Not only mountains but basins, tectonic ridges, and other spectacular geophysical features.
The data came from both existing maps and two satellites that were already in orbit doing other assignments. Thee satellites now provided far more better resolution of the secrets of the ocean depths. The research was done by California’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and as well as several other institutions in allegiance with SIO.
There is a lot of science that went into this discovery and not just one source or technology. These teams of researchers piled on whatever they could use to get the best imaging possible and that meant satellites, sonar, computer software, existing maps and more. This was a collaborative effort to finally see if they could get a better idea of the makeup of the ocean floor. To their surprise they were able to find thousands of active, dormant, and long dead volcanoes. Mountain ranges are formed by either volcanoes like Mt. Kilimanjaro in eastern Africa and Mt. St. Helens in the Pacific Northwest of the US, or by compression like the Himalayan Mountains that formed when the Indian subcontinent tectonic plate crushed into the greater Asian land mass.
Using these technologies to study the ocean floor scientists can now determine the dynamics of the geographical phenomena we wouldn’t have seen or didn’t know about before. These topographical data will be used by just about every scientist on the planet from biology, to fluid dynamics, and meteorology. Seeing how the ridges that form the tectonic plates that formed the continents, scientists will get a glimpse of history going back untold millions of years. They’ll know where to send submersibles to collect samples and see what the rocks might have endured and when they were formed.
This and the other information gleaned from this research can well change the face of science across the board. Now we’re another step closer to understanding our oceans which was an area many complained about that we had neglected.