Seafloor Mapping

Lessons

These selected lessons were developed by scientists and educators to demonstrate key concepts related to seafloor mapping. For more lessons, search the full OceanExplorer.NOAA.gov lesson archive.

Older lessons are aligned to the National Science Education Standards and newer lessons support the Next Generation Science Standards  (and their associated Common Core Standards). All lessons from 2006 to the present also support the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts . Note: The links provided in lessons are verified at the time of publication, but over time, may change or become obsolete.

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6-8 6-12 9-12

Grades 6-8

Wet Maps (pdf, 1.9 MB)

Focus: Bathymetric mapping (Earth Science, Technology)

Students analyze and interpret data to explain how multibeam sonar is used to identify patterns of ocean floor structures, construct three-dimensional maps, and understand how multibeam sonar technology extends the measurement and exploration capacity of modern ocean exploration. Addendum: Blank Wet Maps Graph, pg 62 (pdf, 102 KB).
En español: Mapas múmedos (pdf, 6.73 MB).

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Grades 6-12

Mapping the Ocean Floor: Bathymetry (Activity Package - pdf, 527 KB)

Focus: Multibeam Bathymetry (Earth Science, Technology)

Lessons in this section from the Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration curriculum package serve as an introduction to modern ocean mapping and the reasons it is critical to ocean exploration expeditions. In this package, lessons include: A Watered-down Topographic Map, Mapping the Canyon, and Mapping Deep-Sea Features.

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Grades 9-12

Watching in 3-D

Focus: Multibeam sonar/Bathymetric Mapping (Earth Science, Technology)

Students explore specific sea floor discoveries (case studies) using step-by-step tool guides for the Ocean Exploration Digital Atlas (a searchable, interactive expedition data map) and authentic interactive mapping data visualization software.

Case studies included in this package:

  1. Exploring an Underwater Volcano (pdf, 2.0 MB)
  2. Exploring Cold Seeps (pdf, 2.2 MB)
  3. Exploring a Northeast U.S. Seamount (pdf, 1.9 MB)
  4. Exploring a Hotspot Volcano (pdf, 1.8 MB)

 

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The above items are only a selection of the educational materials highlighting seafloor mapping on our website.

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