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World Data Service for Geophysics

Total Sediment Thickness of the World's Oceans and Marginal Seas, Version 2 new

How to Cite These Data:

Whittaker, Joanne, Alexey Goncharov, Simon Williams, R. Dietmar Müller, German Leitchenkov (2013) Global sediment thickness dataset updated for the Australian-Antarctic Southern Ocean, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. DOI: 10.1002/ggge.20181


NCEI's global ocean sediment thickness grid (Divins, 2003) has been updated for the Australian-Antarctic region (60°-155°E, 30°-70°S). New seismic reflection and refraction data have been used to add detail to the conjugate Australian and Antarctic margins and intervening ocean floor where previously regional sediment thickness patterns were poorly known.

On the margins, sediment thickness estimates were computed from velocity-depth functions from sonobuoy/refraction velocity solutions ground-truthed against seismic reflection data. For the Southeast Indian Ridge abyssal plain, sediment thickness contours from Géli et al. (2007) were used.

The new regional sediment thickness grid was combined with NCEI's original ocean sediment thickness grid (Divins, 2003) to create an updated global grid of ocean sediment thickness. Even using the minimum estimates, sediment accumulations on the extended Australian and Antarctic continental margins are 2 km thicker across large regions and up to 9 km thicker in the Ceduna Basin compared to NCEI's original sediment thickness grid (Divins, 2003), which has been deprecated but is still available.


Divins, D.L., Total Sediment Thickness of the World's Oceans & Marginal Seas, NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, CO, 2003.

Géli, L., Cochran, J., Lee, T., Francheteau, J., Labails, C., Fouchet, C., and Christie, D., 2007, Thermal regime of the Southeast Indian Ridge between 88°E and 140°E: Remarks on the subsidence of the ridge flanks: J. Geophys. Res., v. 112, no. B10, p. B10101.

Global Grids:

ETOPO1 Global Relief

GLOBE Topography

Ocean Crustal Ages

Related Data at NCEI:

Bathymetry & Relief

Marine Geology & Geophysics

Related Data Elsewhere:

Wobbe, F et al. (2014): Total sediment thickness grid of the Southern Pacific Ocean off West Antarctica, links to NetCDF files. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.835589