Activity or Mini-Lesson

Seafloor Mapping Classroom Warm Up

Water column survey screen with bubble plumes visible
Ocean Exploration Trust

This classroom warm up will help students understand why mapping is such an important component of ocean exploration. 

Whether focused on a canyon, seamount, or shipwreck, creating a map allows us to identify potential targets, cutting down exploration time and boosting our mission efficiency. Before ROVs are deployed, our team must first map the area to understand the characteristics of the region and identify potential benthic habitats, seeps, and other environments and resources worthy of exploration.

Objectives & learning outcomes

  • Why is mapping such an important component of ocean exploration?
  • Understand the technology and math used on E/V Nautilus, which allows technicians to produce colorful maps of the seafloor. 
  • Communicate how the current multibeam mapping system used on E/V Nautilus compares with earlier systems?

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Grade level

Grade level