Seabed 2030 is a collaborative project between the Nippon Foundation of Japan and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO). It aims to bring together all available bathymetric data to produce the definitive map of the world ocean floor by 2030 and make it available to all.
The project was launched at the United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference in June 2017 and is aligned with the UN's Sustainable Development Goal #14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.
Knowing the depth and shape of the seafloor (bathymetry) is fundamental for understanding ocean circulation, tides, tsunami forecasting, fishing resources, sediment transport, environmental change, underwater geo-hazards, cable and pipeline routing, mineral extraction, oil and gas exploration and development, infrastructure construction and maintenance and much more.
Despite many years of effort, less than 20 per cent of the world ocean’s seafloor has been mapped. A co-ordinated international effort is needed to bring together all existing data sets and to identify areas for future surveys - to help us 'map the gaps'.
Seabed 2030 comprises four Regional Centers and a Global Center.
The Regional Centers will be responsible for championing mapping activities; assembling and compiling bathymetric information and collaborating with existing mapping initiatives in their regions. The Global Center will be responsible for producing and delivering centralized GEBCO products, such as bathymetric grids.
The IHO Data Center for Digital Bathymetry and other national data repositories will serve as long-term archives or distributors of source bathymetry data sets.
The team is currently made up of the Center Heads.
Global Data Center: Helen Snaith
Atlantic and Indian Ocean Center: Vicki Ferrini
South and West Pacific Center: Geoffroy Lamarche
Southern Ocean Center: Boris Dorschel
The Nippon Foundation of Japan is a non-profit philanthropic organisation active around the world.
GEBCO is an international group of mapping experts developing a range of bathymetric data sets and data products. It operates under the joint auspices of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).