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Shallow Water Bathymetry

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Improving GEBCO's bathymetric grids in shallower water areas

Traditionally, GEBCO's data sets and maps have shown the bathymetry of the deeper water regions of the world’s oceans – i.e. at depths of 200 m and deeper.

So that we can more accurately model the shape of the ocean floor in all areas and serve a wider user community, we have been working to improve our gridded bathymetric data sets in shallower water.

Electronic Navigation Charts (ENCs)

The bathymetry data held in the world wide coverage of Electronic Nautical Charts (ENCs), collectively produced by IHO Member States, has proven to be a valuable data source and are being used to significantly improve GEBCO’s bathymetric grids in shallow water regions.

Many Hydrographic Offices and hydrographic organizations have already contributed substantial amounts of shallow water bathymetry data for their coastal zones. Generally these are from ENCs in small scale 'General' and 'Coastal' navigational purpose bands. The data have resulted in significant improvements in the bathymetry for some shallow water areas and are helping GEBCO to produce a better generalized bathymetric model that seamlessly extends across oceans from shore to shore.

Coverage of ENC data sets contributed to update GEBCO's grids

Data contributors

The following is a list of IHO Member States and organisations that have contributed shallow water bathymetric data to GEBCO.

  • Australian Hydrographic Service (RAN), Australia
  • Bundesamt fur Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie, Germany
  • Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation, Peru
  • East Asia Hydrographic Commission
  • Finnish Hydrographic Office, Finland
  • Flemish Hydrography, Belgium
  • Hellenic Navy Hydrographic Service, Greece
  • Hydrographic service office of the Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Hydrographic Service, Maritime Administration of Latvia
  • Hydrographic Office of the Polish Navy, Poland
  • Hydrographic Office, South Africa
  • State Hydrographic Service of Ukraine
  • Royal Malaysian Navy
  • Servicio de Hidrografía, Oceanografía, Meteorología y Cartografiado Náutico, Venezuela
  • Instituto Oceanographico de la Armada, Ecuador
  • Instituto Idrografico Della Marina, Italy
  • Instituto Hidrografico, Portugal
  • Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Administration, Korea (Republic of)
  • National Hydrographic Office, India
  • National Ocean Service, USA
  • Netherlands Hydrographic Office, The Netherlands
  • Norwegian Mapping Authority, Norway
  • Servicio Hidrográfico y Oceanográfico de la Armada, Chile
  • Swedish Maritime Administration, Sweden
  • Centro De Hidrografia Da Marinha, Brazil
  • Uruguayan Navy Oceanography, Hydrography and Meteorology Service
  • Argentina

How to contribute data

GEBCO is continually working to improve its bathymetric data sets and welcomes data contributions for all ocean regions. Further details are available on how to contribute data to help improve GEBCO’s grids.

Updating the GEBCO Grid in shallow water areas

Many of the ENC data sets for the above regions have already been incorporated into the GEBCO Grid.