Monday, August 30, 2010

Seabed Map Free Download

The high-resolution maps show the hidden seabed of the deep sea around the country in incredible digital detail, making them a treasure for all New Zealanders.

They give an unprecedented insight into the shape of the ocean floor – ridges, volcanoes, plateaus, canyons and seamounts. The data presents digital terrain models generated from multibeam data, combined with traditional bathymetric data.

The 250-metre-resolution digital terrain maps of New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone are available in multiple high-resolution file formats to suit many current and future needs. The dataset provides the most up-to-date bathymetry of the major features from one of the largest areas of deep-water seabed under our national jurisdiction.

“These maps produce significant benefit for all New Zealanders and for all users of the marine environment, revealing potential for fisheries, environmental management, conservation, hazard mitigation, and energy and mineral opportunities,” says NIWA Marine Database Manager, Kevin Mackay.

NIWA are proven specialists in fine-detail mapping and advanced bathymetric data analysis. These maps are the culmination of NIWA’s geological, oceanographic, and fisheries research, and their collection of high-resolution sea-floor images from around New Zealand. They also incorporate significant worldwide data sets.

NIWA Chief Scientist Māori Development & Oceans, Dr Charlotte Severne, says putting the maps online is an opportunity to showcase the extent of what NIWA does.

“These are the best map product around. They include an extensive area of 11.7 million square kilometres, an area that extends past the continental shelf, and to depths of up to 11 000 metres,” says NIWA geologist, Dr Helen Neil. “They are the product of truly sophisticated seafloor mapping combined with expert marine geological knowledge.”

New Zealand has the world’s fourth biggest Exclusive Economic Zone. This ocean and sea floor is a massive area of nearly four million square kilometres, and it’s New Zealand’s biggest resource.

So what can you get and what can you do with theses files? The data products start from low-resolution images of the New Zealand region, from the Pacific Islands to the Southern Oceans, for use as a general background to maps, reports and assignments. There is a high-resolution image of the NZ region able to be zoomed in to for more detailed information and planning. At the top end are high-resolution 250 metre gridded Geographical Information Systems (GIS) products for use by mapping professionals. To download the maps go here.

The digital products and bathymetry project are the culmination of effort at NIWA, supported by funding from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and the Royal New Zealand Navy, the US National Geophysical Data Center, Institute Francais de Recerche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer, and Land Information New Zealand.

The maps (bathymetry) of NZ online, were produced from 2 593115 km2 of swath coverage and 5 005 568 kilometres of single-beam survey lines. That’s equivalent to nearly 30 years at sea.

To find out how the seafloor is mapped.


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