Niwa's the map, which will also be available in 3D, shows
the "texture' of the seafloor.
Vast areas of New Zealand's sea floor have been mapped in
never-before-seen detail by the country's scientists.
The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
(Niwa) undersea New Zealand map captures about 1.5 million
square kilometres of seafloor in 20 times the resolution of
Niwa ocean geologist Helen Neil said the map, which would
also be available in 3D, showed the "texture' of the seafloor
and would help a range of people understand more about our
extensive marine environment.
"New Zealand sits across a plate boundary, resulting in a
diverse seascape of ridges, volcanoes, plateaux, canyons and
"Recent technological advances mean we can now map the seabed
in detail approaching that of terrestrial (land) mapping," Dr
Among the areas mapped include the West Coast, the Bounty
Trough and the Hikurangi Channels - which were all previously
represented as simple curves on the old 1997 map.
"The new detail shows the abundance of sinuous canyons and
channels that slice through the continental margin, allowing
sediment from the land to flow into the deep ocean, both west
and east of New Zealand."
The map is a culmination of NIWA's geological, oceanographic,
and fisheries research, and is created from the Crown
research institute's database of high-resolution seafloor
imagery. It also incorporates significant national and
worldwide data sets.
Dr Neil said maps like these produce substantial benefits for
all users of the marine environment.