Interactive map of ocean chemistry and ecological zones

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Screenshot of Ecological Marine Unit Explorer

The Ecological Marine Unit Explorer is an interactive program which uses physical and chemical patterns in the ocean to generate ecological zones, which are the marine equivalents of deserts, rainforests and tundras. It has three components: an interactive map, a depth profile tool and a numerical table.

The interactive map portrays ecological divisions in the surface ocean. These ecological divisions are based on measured ocean properties (like temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and nutrient concentrations) taken from NOAA’s World Ocean Atlas and averaged over 57 years. A detailed description of the 37 Ecological Marine Units can be found here.

Once a user clicks somewhere on the interactive map, the program creates a color coded table showing the ecological units present at that location with depth, a table with a numerical summary of ocean properties averaged over the selected ecological unit, and displays depth profiles for ocean properties including:

  • Temperature
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Phosphate
  • Nitrate
  • Salinity
  • Silicate
  • Apparent oxygen utilization
  • Oxygen saturation (%)

Click here to access the web version of the Ecological Marine Unit Explorer. An app version is also freely available for phones on the Google Play Store and on iTunes .

Source: The Ecological Marine Unit Explorer was developed by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) and the U.S. Geological Survey. The map is hosted by Esri.