How did early scientists study the ocean floor?
Sounding-weights are the oldest known marine navigational instrument. Two basic types were used:
|Water depth||Bottom samples|
Echo sounding is a method of measuring sea floor depth using powerful sound pulses. There are many conditions that can cause echo sounders to produce inaccurate data.
Multibeam systems can provide more accurate measurements than echo sounders do. Multibeam systems collect data from as many as 121 beams to measure the contours of the ocean floor.
Satellite Altimetry measures the sea surface height from orbit. Satellites can bounce 1,000 pulses of radar energy off the ocean surface every second.
Satellites can be used to measure various conditions on the ocean surface, including current speed, water temperature, and wave height. Radar altimetry can be used to estimate water depth and therefore features on the sea floor