Oceanographic Tools: Sonar
the Ocean Floor with Echo Sounding
To map the seafloor, scientists bounce a beam
of sound waves off the ocean bottom. Research ships moving along
the sea surface repeatedly ping the seafloor with
sound to map a continuous line of seafloor elevations below.
Bathymetry - The Successor to the Single-Beam Echo sounding
By sending out many beams of sound simultaneously,
research vessels can collect data on a wide swath of the seafloor,
rather than a single line. So they can map much larger areas
during a single cruise.