Subseafloor image schematic

This schematic demonstrates the principle underlying subseafloor imaging with an acoustic system. The fish sends out a pulse, whose character is changed by the features it encounters as it penetrates the sea floor. The reflected pulse is received at the ship as a single trace of data. When many traces are compiled side by side, as in the Gulf of Mexico image above, scientists obtain an image of the shallow subseafloor along the entire transect.

Related Links

Windows to the Deep Exploration

Windows to the Deep: Subseafloor Imaging

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery