New map of the seabed reveal more deposits than expected | 8/28/2019 | Staff
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The sea transports large quantities of material that eventually accumulates on the seabed in deposits. Here are layers of sedimentary rocks exposed on southeast coast of Tasmania, Australia. Photo: Eivind O. Straume.

There are 30 percent more sediments on the seabed than previously expected, reveal an update of the map GlobSed. This equates to up to two kilometers of extra land mass over today's land area.

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As much as 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by oceans. The seabed itself, which is part of the Earth's crust (lithosphere), has been extensively investigated over the past decades and even centuries, but is only recently coming into focus. The crust varies in thickness depending on where you measure, and is thickest at the continental shelves and thinnest at the so-called mid-ocean ridges where new seabed forms. But the sea also contains a lot of material that slowly accumulates on top of these rocks—on the seabed—and eventually becomes sedimentary rocks.

"The sedimentary rocks are a product of biological marine processes and/or erosion on land. The continuously ongoing geological processes produce large quantities of loose particles that are transported and deposited on the seabed by winds and ocean currents," explains Eivind Straume, one of the researchers behind the update.

Thickness - Deposits - Seabed - Update - Update

The thickness of deposits on the seabed has previously been mapped in 2003, 2013 and was due for an update. The last update, published earlier this year, was made by an international research team, where several researchers from the the University of Oslo, Norway and its Centre of Excellence CEED have participated. The update was led by Eivind Straume, Ph.D. Fellow at CEED.

The research team combined several new regional and global maps with previously published maps. They have also included new areas in the map.

Update - Truly - Map - Thickness - Sediments

"The update is the first truly global map showing the thickness of sediments...
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