Sonar-based mapping methods

Sonar-based mapping methods - Echo-sounding, Multibeam, Side-scan sonar, Seismic reflection
Sonar techniques are the basis of several methods used to map the seafloor.

Sonar works by measuring the time it takes for sound to travel to a reflecting surface and back. The time it takes for an "echo" to return depends on the distance to the reflecting surface. If the elapsed time and speed of sound are known, the distance traveled can be calculated with precision. That distance can be the depth of the seafloor, or the distance between a bat or dolphin and its prey. These animals use echo-sounding for hunting and navigation.

Echo-sounding, multibeam, side-scan sonar and seismic reflection methods are summarized in this animation.

Sonar-based mapping methods.

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Updated: April 2, 2006

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