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Knowing the patterns of distribution of sediments in the global ocean is critical for understanding biogeochemical cycles and how deep-sea deposits respond to environmental change at the sea surface. We present the first digital map of seafloor lithologies based on descriptions of nearly 14,500 samples from original cruise reports, interpolated using a support vector machine algorithm.
The composition of the seabed, which covers 70% of the Earth’s surface, has been mapped for the first time after 40 years. The research team from the University of Sydney’s School of Geo-sciences has created the world’s first digital map of the seabed’s geology.