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The operational modelling of ocean currents is used both by shipping and fisheries, as well as oil producers who install large platforms in this environment. The mapping of ocean floor topography is also an important input to the latter.

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CryoSat unveils secrets of the deep

03 October 2014

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ESA's ice mission has been used to create a new gravity map, exposing thousands of previously unchartered 'seamounts', ridges and deep ocean structures. This vivid new picture of the least-explored part of the ocean offers fresh clues about how continents form and breakup.

Carrying a radar altimeter, CryoSat's main role is to provide detailed measurements of the height of the world's ice. This allows us to see how the thickness of the ice changes, seasonally and in response to climate change.

However, CryoSat works continuously, whether there is ice below or not. This means that the satellite can also measure the height of the surface of the sea. These measurements can be used to create global marine gravity models and, from them, maps of the seafloor.

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