Southwest Indian Ocean Bathymetric Compilation (swIOBC)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Laura Jensen, Boris Dorschel, Jan Erik Arndt and Wilfried Jokat, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz-Center for Polar and Marine Research Bremerhaven, Bremerhaven, Germany
As result of long-term scientific activities in the southwest Indian Ocean, an extensive amount of swath bathymetric data has accumulated in the AWI database. Using this data as a backbone, supplemented by additional bathymetric data sets and predicted bathymetry, we generate a comprehensive regional bathymetric data compilation for the southwest Indian Ocean.

A high resolution bathymetric chart of this region will support geological and climate research: Identification of current-induced seabed structures will help modelling oceanic currents and, thus, provide proxy information about the paleo-climate. Analysis of the sediment distribution will contribute to reconstruct the erosional history of Eastern Africa.

The aim of swIOBC is to produce a homogeneous and seamless bathymetric grid with an associated meta-database and a corresponding map for the area from 5° to 39° S and 20° to 44° E. Recently, multibeam data with a track length of approximately 86,000 km are held in-house. In combination with external echosounding data this allows for the generation of a regional grid, significantly improving the existing, mostly satellite altimetry derived, bathymetric models.

The collected data sets are heterogeneous in terms of age, acquisition system, background data, resolution, accuracy, and documentation. As a consequence, the production of a bathymetric grid requires special techniques and algorithms, which were already developed for the IBCAO (Jakobsson et al., 2012) and further refined for the IBCSO (Arndt et al., 2013). The new regional southwest Indian Ocean chart will be created based on these methods.

Arndt, J.E., et al., 2013. The International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) Version 1.0—A new bathymetric compilation covering circum-Antarctic waters. GRL 40, 1-7, doi: 10.1002/grl.50413, 2013.

Jakobsson, M., et al., 2012. The International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) Version 3.0. GRL 39, L12609, doi: 10.1029/2012GL052219.