Data heterogeneity and oldness, two difficulties to overcome for the world seabed sediment mapping
Keywords: marine sedimentology, seabed sediment, map fusion, world ocean
Abstract. A global seabed sediment map has been developed since 1995 to provide a necessary tool for different needs. This project is not completely original since it had already been done in 1912 when the French hydrographic Office and the University of Nancy produced sedimentary maps of the European and North American coasts. Seabed sediments is one of the last geographical domains which can’t benefit of satellite data. Without this contribution, sediment maps need to use very old data mixed with the new ones to be able to reach the goal of a global map. In general, sediment maps are made with the latest available techniques and are replaced after a few decades, thus generating new cartographic works as if all the previous efforts had become useless. Such approach underestimates the quality of past works and prevents to have maps covering large areas. The present work suggests to standardize all kind of sedimentary data from different periods and from very different acquisition systems and integrate them into a single product. This process has already been done for bathymetric data of marine charts, we discuss in this article of the application of this method at a global scale for sediment data.