Mapping the entire ocean floor needs more than just a satellite. It needs a highly sophisticated underwater submarine such as the Autosub6000. Unknown to most of us, the Autosub6000 has been mapping North Atlantic’s Porcupine Abyssal Plain and taking more than half a million pictures where it will be collated and stitched together in the long run to form a unified view map of the PAP.
The scientists at the National Geographic Centre are hoping that the images captured by its Autosub6000 robot will give them vital information about the effects of climate change on the ocean floor, as well as the wildlife thriving in the said area. Autosub6000 uses an advanced acoustic mapping technology to take photos in the deep.
“On land it is easy to confirm on the ground what we can see from satellite photographs, but this is far harder in the deep-sea because we can’t see through the water using light. Even though it’s difficult to make measurements there, abyssal habitats cover more than half the surface of Earth,” said Dr. Henry Ruhl, head of the DeepSeas Group at the National Oceanography Centre.