Home News China to accelerate seabed mapping

China to accelerate seabed mapping

Beijing, China: China will accelerate its pace of mapping the deep seabed, revealed Zhang Jixian, President of the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping, in an interview with China Daily. “In the near future, China’s surveying and mapping science will gradually extend from the ground area to the country’s three million square kilometres of water territory,” Zhang said.

He observed that in the land surveying and mapping industry, China has become one of the world leaders with the recent completion of its nationwide 1:50,000 map, but in offshore area mapping, “much needs to be done”.

Zhang said the surveying and mapping of reefs within China’s water territory is under way, but the seabed surveying and mapping has a long way to go because the technology is not mature. “The offshore surveying and mapping is totally different from that for the land, because water is flowing all the time that makes setting a fixed target so hard,” he added.

As the marine economy was first mentioned in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), many experts see a booming future for China’s offshore development and exploration. By the end of 2020, it is estimated the gross product of the country’s marine industries, including offshore oil and gas exploration, marine transport, coastal tourism, fisheries and shipbuilding industry, will surpass USD 814 billion, according to China’s Ocean Development Report in 2011.

Gao Zhiguo, Director of the China Institute for Marine Affairs under the State Oceanic Administration, said the ocean is the next economic growth engine for China and so should be given thorough study.

China’s pace in exploring the deep sea has been accelerating in recent years with the successful 5,188-meter dive of China’s manned deep-diving submarine Jiaolong this year, and becoming one of the first two countries approved by the International Seabed Authority to look for polymetallic sulphide deposits in the Southwest Indian Ridge.

In December, China’s first cartographic satellite will be launched, Zhang said, which will play an active role in China’s future surveying and mapping industry. The satellite will carry panchromatic cameras with 2.5 meter and 5 meter spatial resolution, and after it is fully operational, satellite images will be sent back every year covering the entire country.

Source: China Daily