Why in News?
- The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is planning to take the help of the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) for airline mapping of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshwadeep to get a better picture of the ocean floor, also called ‘bathymetric’ study.
What is bathymetric study?
- Bathymetry is the study of underwater depth of ocean floors or lake floors.
- Bathymetric surveys allow us to measure the depth of a water body as well as map the underwater features of a water body.
- Multiple methods can be used for bathymetric surveys including multi-beam and single-beam surveys, sub-bottom profilers, and the Ecomapper Autonomous Underwater Vehicle.
- Bathymetric surveys are used for many different types of research including flood inundation, contour of streams and reservoirs, leakage, scour and stabilization, water-quality studies, dam removal, biological and spill, and storage and fill in reservoirs and ponds.
What is airline mapping?
- Airborne laser data can be used to accurately measure the topography of the ground (here ocean floor), even where overlying vegetation is quite dense.
- The method relies on measuring the distance from an airplane, or helicopter, to the Earth’s surface by precisely timing the round-trip travel time of a brief pulse of laser light.
- The travel-time is measured from the time the laser pulse is fired to the time laser light is reflected back from the surface
- The technology used currently is popularly known as Lidar (Light detection and ranging)
About the mission
- NRSC has already done a similar high resolution topographic Airborne Laser Terrain Mapping (ALTM) for entire coastal areas of the country and the researchers are in the process of integrating the data for a 3D multi-hazard mapping of both the east and west coastline for a more precise picture of the ocean floor
- Such a study has become imperative in view of the recent tsunamis of the Indonesian coasts where more than the quake related high waves, damage was due to landslides that had under the sea beds causing sudden wave surge leading to much damage without giving sufficient time to alert people
- The research institute, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, had also identified gaps across the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha for installing more tide gauges for better monitoring of the sea and more accurate prediction of impending disasters like cyclones.
Advantages of Ocean floor mapping
- It will help India to become a blue economy, and explore deep-sea resources or lay fibre-optic cables for the Internet.
- Provide a better idea of sea levels as ice melts and warn about impending tsunamis.
- Sustainable Development Goal (Goal 14 – to conserve and sustainably use the oceans)
Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)
- It is an autonomous organisation under Ministry of Earth Sciences
- It is mandated to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and constant improvements through systematic and focussed research.
National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC)
- NRSC is one of the primary centres of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
- It is mandated for establishment of ground stations for receiving satellite data, generation of data products, dissemination to the users, development of techniques for remote sensing applications including disaster management support, geospatial services for good governance and capacity building for professionals, faculty and students.