The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding emphasizing their commitment to the international community through the collection of ocean depth data.
The signing took place during the 2023 International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Assembly, and the memorandum was signed by IHO Secretary General Dr. Mathias Jonas and NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad.
One of the ways NOAA supports the IHO is through hosting the IHO Data Center for Digital Bathymetry (DCDB).
The database provides online access to ocean depth data worldwide, and the NOAA has been hosting it since 1990.
Ocean depth data is used to generate a precise image of the seabed, including features such as canyons, seamounts, volcanoes etc. These physical elements have an impact on a variety of ocean processes like currents and ocean circulation as well as habitats for marine species. Ultimately, better data on the seabed topography helps improve climate change models, refine initiatives to protect biodiversity or address pollution, and generally speaking, supports informed decision-making.
You can learn more about the DCDB here.