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Bathymetry and Ocean Mapping

The IHO contributes towards development of scientific knowledge of the ocean environment by coordinating the systematic collection and recording of ocean bathymetry on a World Series of Bathymetric Plotting Sheets. This global coverage of deep ocean data, is available to hydrographers, oceanographers, geoscientists and educational institutions. Much of the data contained on these plotting sheets have been digitised and are available from the IHO Data Centre for Digital Bathymetry (DCDB) which is located at the U.S. National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

The bathymetric data are also used for the preparation of the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), which comprises 18 separate map sheets, covering all oceanic areas. The GEBCO Series is produced jointly by the IHO and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. The 5th Edition of the GEBCO was completed in 1982, and its digital equivalent, the GEBCO Digital Atlas (GDA) is available on CD-ROM.

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A primary aim of these regional ocean mapping programmes, is the development of a regionalseries of bathymetric maps at scale 1:1 million, followed by geological/geophysical series


The IHO also participates in several IOC sponsored regional International Bathymetric Chart projects, namely:


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