Find Ocean Features with this Directory

Elizabeth Borneman


The ocean remains one of the most mysterious places on this Earth. The depths of the ocean still hold animals, underwater formations, and other discoveries we cannot even imagine. Scientists continue to study the ocean, collecting data and finding new information constantly. With the help of technology, scientists and researchers have been able to find, name, and map a variety of underwater formations that make it easier to navigate both above and below the waters.

New resources are allowing these important underwater features to become standardized, which allows for greater understanding and communication between organizations around the world. Recent underwater photographs using an autonomous underwater vehicle from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute captured pictures of the Brothers Seamount and caldera, an underwater volcano off the coast of New Zealand.

Another formative formation under the sea is the Izu-Ogasawara Trench, also known as the Izu-Bonin Trench. Different aspects of this trench have been discovered and named over the years, but are often different depending on who discovered and named them. Some names come into historical and common use, while others are only used by a few people or organizations. New oceanographic information is being discovered every day, adding to the already confusing set of historical discoveries that were made under the water.

GEBCO Undersea Features Gazetteer.
GEBCO Undersea Features Gazetteer.

Multibeam sonar technologies, remotely operated vehicles, and autonomous underwater vehicles are all improving the way that scientists are mapping and naming undersea features. To make it easier to spread this information around the world, researchers use the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans Gazetteer online map. This map pulls together different sources that make it easier to disseminate oceanic information across organizations.

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Users can propose names for underwater geographic features as well as comment on the existing names for features. This resource allows for the organization of underwater features in territorial waters to make it easier to navigate, research, and continue exploring the world underneath the ocean.


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About the author
Elizabeth Borneman
My name is Elizabeth Borneman and I am a freelance writer, reader, and coffee drinker. I live on a small island in Alaska, which gives me plenty of time to fish, hike, kayak, and be inspired by nature. I enjoy writing about the natural world and find lots of ways to flex my creative muscles on the beach, in the forest, or down at the local coffee shop.