Prof David Sandwell at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) is one of the world’s foremost experts in mapping the seafloor using satellite gravity data. He and his colleagues have developed the Global and Estimated Seafloor Topography dataset (Satellite Geodesy) and also the SRTM30_Plus dataset, which was used for the ocean terrain model in Google Earth. Prof Sandwell agreed to collaborate on Project 3DGBR to help develop a new high-resolution depth model for the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea (internal link here).
I spent 15-25 April 2010 at the Satellite Geodesy department at SIO in San Diego, USA learning new computing techniques for processing the vast source bathymetry data obtained for the project. It was a very productive visit and we generated the first 100 metre-resolution digital elevation model for the entire GBR and Coral Sea, an area of about 3,000,000 km2.
The next few months will be used to continue editing the vast quantity of point depth data for noise and errors. I am using advanced 3D computer visualisation software called Fledermaus to do the editing, then will grid the data using a combination of ESRI ArcGIS and and Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) software.