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UKHO provides bathymetric surveys for the Seabed 2030 project
The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has started supplying bathymetric survey data for non-UK waters to the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), after signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU) with The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project (Seabed 2030) earlier this year.
The MOU was signed with the goal of advancing the industry’s understanding of ocean bathymetry and supporting the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The UKHO has agreed to provide bathymetric data gridded map products and advise on data management methods and best practice, to support the ambitious goal of completely mapping the world’s oceans by 2030 (Seabed 2030).
The UKHO has started supplying data that covers the South Atlantic and the waters around Antarctica to GEBCO via the Seabed 2030 Southern Ocean Regional Centre, located at the Alfred Wegener Institute. This data is an important contribution to the International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO), GEBCO and Seabed 2030.
The supplied data has contributed 3,753,614 new data points to IBCSO and GEBCO, covering a combined 13,500 nm², including South Georgia (1,500 nm² with 55,539 data points) and Antarctica (12,000 nm² with 2,931,105 data points).
This marks the first time that the UKHO has supplied data from outside of the UK directly to GEBCO for inclusion in its products. It follows the success of a 2021 trial that saw the UKHO collaborate closely with the Alfred Wegener Institute on a data set covering South Georgia to ensure it met supply requirements and contained all the data and metadata required. The trial data – which contained a deconflicted 100m resolution bathymetric surface covering 1,500 nm² – was supplied to the Alfred Wegener Institute in November 2021 and was successfully integrated into the IBCSO data pipeline.
This announcement supports the UKHO’s presence at the GEBCO ‘Map the Gaps’ Symposium. The event, hosted by NOC (the UK’s National Oceanography Centre) in association with the UKHO, is taking place at the end of October 2022. Rhett Hatcher, UK National Hydrographer and Director of Data Acquisition & Defence, UKHO, will deliver an opening speech.