MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mapping the ocean floor. Cutaway computer illustration of a ship using sonar beams (sound waves) to map the ocean floor. The sonar beams reflect off the ocean floor and are collected by a receiver. The time taken for the beam to return allows the depth of water to be calculated. Maps of the ocean floor can be used to study plate tectonics, model ocean currents, and map wildlife habitats, amongst other applications.
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