Atlantic and Indian Oceans Regional Center

Center Head

Center Team

  • Frank Nitsche, Project Scientist, Mapping/GIS Specialist
  • Tinah Martin, Data Manager
  • Hayley Drennon, Data Manager
  • Sheila Cáceres, Data Manager
  • John Morton, Applications Developer 
  • Angela Martin, Admin. Support

Center Role

This center acts as the regional focus for data compilation and co-ordination activities for Seabed 2030 in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean region. The Atlantic and Indian Oceans Regional Center covers an area of more than 140 million km2 and extends from 60°N to 50°S, from the Americas in the west to Australia in the East (to 140°E).

The center is based at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University, Palisades, USA and is one of Seabed 2030's network of regional and global centers.


Learn more about the center in our Story Map

Seabed 2030 Atlantic and Indian Ocean Regional Center Story Map

Center Overview

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) was established in 1949, and has a long history of assembling data to create global ocean maps. Pioneering work done at LDEO by Marie Tharp and Bruce Heezen in the 1950s and 1960s yielded the first detailed maps of the ocean floor. These maps were instrumental in revolutionary scientific advances related to mid-ocean ridges and plate tectonics.

Ongoing research at LDEO led to the development of the Ridge Multibeam Synthesis (RMBS) in the 1990s, focused on assembling bathymetric data from the global mid-ocean ridges, and the Global Multi-Resolution Topography (GMRT) Synthesis in 2005. As of 2022, the curated multibeam bathymetry data in GMRT cover a total of ~10.3% of the global ocean, and have been contributed to the GEBCO grid since 2014.

The Seabed 2030 Atlantic and Indian Oceans Regional Center at LDEO is led by Dr Vicki Ferrini, who specializes in seabed mapping and geoinformatics. The center benefits from several national and international mapping initiatives within the region, including the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, the European Union’s EMODnet Bathymetry, Australia’s AusSeabed, and the work of numerous national Hydrographic Offices, Regional Hydrographic Commissions, and many individual researchers.

Transit data collected by industry partners, including Fugro, and data from the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition also fall within the region. Work done by Dr Ferrini and her team to create online interactive map interfaces to facilitate stakeholder engagement and data dissemination was recognized in 2019 with a Special Achievement in GIS Award from Esri.

The Atlantic and Indian Oceans Regional Team is heavily focused on stakeholder engagement and capacity building, and has promoted the project at a range of meetings and conferences targeting participation across all sectors of the maritime industry. Two regional mapping meetings have been convened gathering delegates from several countries surrounding the region, including many alumni of the Nippon Foundation/GEBCO Training Program.