Bathymetry

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Bathymetry is the study of underwater depth of lake or ocean floors. In other words, bathymetry is the underwater equivalent to hypsometry. The name comes from Greek βαθύς (bathus), "deep",, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus and μέτρον (metron), "measure"., Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Bathymetric (or hydrographic) charts are typically produced to support safety of surface or sub-surface navigation, and usually show seafloor relief or terrain as contour lines (called depth contours or isobaths) and selected depths (soundings), and typically also provide surface navigational information. Bathymetric maps (a more general term where navigational safety is not a concern) may also use a Digital Terrain Model and artificial illumination techniques to illustrate the depths being portrayed. Paleobathymetry is the study of past underwater depths.

Measurement



Originally, bathymetry involved the measurement of ocean depth through depth sounding. Early techniques used pre-measured heavy rope or cable lowered over a ship's side. This technique measures the depth only a single point at a time, and so is inefficient. It is also subject to movements of the ship and currents moving the line out of true and therefore is inaccurate.

The data used to make bathymetric maps today typically comes from an echosounder (sonar) mounted...
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