GlobSed: Updated total sediment thickness in the world's oceans

E.O. Straume, C. Gaina, S. Medvedev, K. Hochmuth, K. Gohl, J.M. Whittaker, R. Abdul Fattah, J.C. Doornenbal, J.R. Hopper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

242 Citations (Scopus)


We present GlobSed, a new global 5-arc-minute total sediment thickness grid for the world's oceans and marginal seas. GlobSed covers a larger area than previously published global grids and incorporates updates for the NE Atlantic, Arctic, Southern Ocean, and Mediterranean regions, which results in a 29.7% increase in estimated total oceanic sediment volume. We use this new global grid and a revised global oceanic lithospheric age grid to assess the relationship between the total sediment thickness and age of the underlying oceanic lithosphere and its latitude. An analytical approximation model is used to mathematically describe sedimentation trends in major oceanic basins and to allow paleobathymetric reconstructions at any given geological time. This study provides a much-needed update of the sediment thickness distribution of the world oceans and delivers a model for sedimentation rates on oceanic crust through time that agrees well with selected drill data used for comparison.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1756-1772
Number of pages17
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • lithospheric age
  • marine geophysics
  • sediment thickness

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


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