Exploring Oceans with GIS and Remote Sensing

Do you know that almost 97% of the oceans are unexplored? While aircraft, drones, and satellites may be able to study the surface of the oceans, what lies below this surface is a mystery for the most part. GIS tools and remote sensing are widely used to study coastlines and estuary systems across countries.

Exploring Oceans with GIS and Remote Sensing
exploring-oeans-with-gis-and-remote-sensing

Exploring Oceans with GIS and Remote Sensing

Do you know that almost 97% of the oceans are unexplored? While aircraft, drones, and satellites may be able to study the surface of the oceans, what lies below this surface is a mystery for the most part. Studies have been conducted in various areas with the help of sound waves (say- acoustic remote sensing) to analyze and research ocean floors and their composition. 

The reason for using sound to learn more about the oceans is that sound waves travel faster and farther in water. The speed of sound in water is dependant on various factors like water temperature, pressure, and salinity. The salinity of the oceans makes them an excellent conductor of sound waves helping in effective research. 

Rapid advancements in remote sensing and GIS technology have resulted in the ocean research to grow by leaps and bounds. It has made possible the arrangement, integration, and organization of data to conduct research, study patterns, and identify new areas to create breakthroughs. 

With these advancements, we can map ocean floors, study their composition, and even conduct scientific research. GIS has been widely used to synergize different data and create multiple correlated analysis. 

This data is collected using multiple devices and across a broad spectrum of information required to conduct a study. It created relations between different data to create data that is now available for Oceanographic Communities and researchers worldwide. 

Also Read: Role of GIS in Environment Protection

Data collection in ocean studies uses ships, rafts, floats, gliders, remotely operated vehicles, and satellites, to name a few.  Development and innovation in technology have improved how data can be collected from oceans. 

The marine life faces a serious threat of environmental damage and ecosystem destruction due to increased pollution, rising pressure on oceans, and poor waste management. GIS and remote sensing help study oceans to analyze the damage and create contingency plans to combat the threat of marine decline. 

Now, the data available is not just figures but multidimensional figures and dynamic models, and even simulation. These advancements have helped in ocean exploration, the study of marine ecosystems, and even research on issues like energy management and climate change. 

As much as we have only explored a fraction of the ocean, there is no part of the ocean that is not affected by human activities. Be it in the form of climate change or fishing- humans have impacted every single part of the ocean. 

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Take, for instance, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This human-made horror is large debris of floating garbage between California and Hawaii. A similar garbage patch is witnessed in the Atlantic Ocean called the North Atlantic Garbage Patch. We, as a species, have left nothing untouched and have single-handedly destroyed the planet beyond repair. 

Researchers have now started to devise ways to minimize this damage by studying the planet better and making improvement plans. For ocean research, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)  are now extensively used to study the ocean floors, corals, and marine life. AUVs do not have propellers but bladders that are filled and emptied to ascend and descend into the ocean. 

GIS tools and remote sensing are widely used to study coastlines and estuary systems across countries. It has resulted in the broader knowledge of tidal waves and their patterns. This data is studied further to plan for disaster management and relief in regions that face threats of natural disasters. 

Remote sensing and GIS are tools used in ocean studies, oceanography, and studying marine life and have proven to be effective. Accurate data aid in decision-making strategy and thorough analysis. 
 

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