Scientists have created the highest resolution map yet of the ocean floor, revealing thousands of underwater mountains and extinct volcanoes that were previously unknown. In a study published Thursday in Science, researchers say the new map is at least twice as accurate as the previous version assembled nearly 20 years ago even though it can only resolve features that are a mile high and bigger. “You might think, that’s not so much better, but instead of seeing 5,000 old volcanoes down there, now we can see 10,000,” said David Sandwell, a geophysics professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego who led the study. Scientists know remarkably little about the deep-sea floor. Sandwell thinks of it almost as a separate planet in our solar system that we have only begun to explore. “We have maps of Mars that have 100 to 10,000 times more resolution than maps of the deep ocean,” he said. More
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