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Sub-Committee on Undersea Features Names

Bathymetry image of Brothers Seamount and caldera, an undersea volcano about 3 kilometers in diameter off the coast of New Zealand. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's autonomous underwater vehicle ABE acquired high-resolution (2-meter) bathymetry data inside the caldera. Surface ships mapped the lower-resolution (25- to 30-meter) bathymetry data on the surrounding volcano flanks. This feature was formally named using tools provided by the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO).  Credit: S.G. Merle (GNS Science/WHOI/NOAA/PMEL/OSU)The GEBCO Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN) maintains and makes available a digital gazetteer of the names, generic feature type and geographic position of features on the seafloor.

Access SCUFN's Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure from the IHO's web site.

A list of SCUFN contacts can be accessed from our Committees and Groups page.

The role of SCUFN

The setting up of SCUFN arose from the need for a uniform policy for the handling of geographical names and the standardisation of undersea feature names. This was done in order to achieve consistent naming on bathymetric maps and nautical charts.

The role of SCUFN is

  • To define the nomenclature used for undersea features, e.g. canyon, plateau, fracture zone, etc., as well as naming guidelines
  • To consider and decide on names that have been submitted to the Sub-Committee

All names selected by SCUFN are contained in the IHO-IOC GEBCO Gazetteer of Undersea Feature Names, IHO publication B-8.

The secretariat of SCUFN is provided by the Secretariat of the International Hydrographic Organization, Monaco, where the gazetteer database is maintained.

Find out about SCUFN's meetings.

Guidelines and nomenclature

Access the document B-6 on the Standardization of Undersea Feature Names (Guidelines, Proposal Form Terminology), available from the IHO's web site Adobe PDF English/French language version of the document 'B-6 Standardisation of Undersea Feature Names'.

Names proposals

To submit a name proposal, download and return a name proposal submission form

  • English/French version Adobe PDF version of the undersea feature name proposal form (English) (278 KB)

Meeting reports

SCUFN meets on a yearly basis. Access reports from past meetings (from the SCUFN pages at the International Hydrographic Organization's web site).