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Map Layer Info

Bathymetry of North America

What this map layer shows:

The depth of the ocean waters around North America.
opens the U.S. Geological Survey home page
Background Information
Sample map Sample Map
Bathymetry shows underwater terrain by indicating depth below sea level. The Bathymetry of North America image was derived from the ETOPO2 2-minute data, which is a global data set showing land elevations and waterbody depths at a consistent resolution of 2 minutes (latitude and longitude.) Elevation and depth values are measured approximately 2 minutes apart, and each grid cell in the data base has a value that represents the average height above or below sea level within that cell. Bathymetry is used for a wide variety of scientific research including petroleum exploration, studies of underwater geologic processes, and studies of ocean currents.

The Bathymetry of North America map layer is a tinted image showing the depth of ocean waters around North America, created by grouping the depth values into ranges and then assigning colors to the different ranges. The tint indicating the shallowest depths also includes the land areas of North America. This image was produced by the National Atlas of the United States® and is intended for visual purposes only; the original ETOPO2 data must be used for conducting analysis and determining specific bathymetric values. Further information on bathymetry, including additional data sets, is available from the National Geophysical Data Center Bathymetry and Global Relief page. The National Atlas also includes a Bathymetric Shaded Relief of North America map layer that shows depth below sea level with relief enhanced by shading.


Map Maker Sample
Ocean Depth - Bathymetry

Data Download
Ocean Depth - Bathymetry