Where have ships mapped the seafloor with sonar?

Multibeam sonar is used to map the sea floor in great detail, and can be used to make high resolution maps of how depth changes across Australian Marine Parks. This is important because bathymetry is a major factor that determines where different marine life can exist.

The map above shows the location of all multibeam bathymetry (shaded red) held by Geoscience Australia (GA) as of 2016 (see the metadata record). The map was compiled by GA from numerous field surveys conducted by GA, CSIRO, the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and many national and international collaborators.

To find out more about any location, click on it and scroll through the columns of data entries in the table that pops up. View a description of some of the types of data you can find for each location where multi-beam data exists.

Some multibeam bathymetry exists in most Australian Marine Parks. However, as of 2016, there was still almost none for:

For some of these parks, such as Ashmore Reef Marine Park, are too shallow for multibeam equipment to be effectively deployed. Others simply haven't been a focus for this sort of data collection.

Data for the Cod Grounds and the Solitary Islands exists but is missing from the map above. Data for the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf is due to be released by GA in 2018.

How to use the map

Click this button (third from top on the left hand side of the map) to see the map metadata.