Artificial Intelligence for Seabed Mapping and Marine Spatial Planning

KIMERA Project

Ensuring the long-term productivity of the ocean and protecting marine ecosystems, central to UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water, is essential. Economic activities like fishing, sand extraction, and tourism are harming biodiversity and underwater habitats.

Simultaneously, there is increasing interest in deep-sea resources for critical metals (e.g., copper, cobalt, nickel) vital for energy and mobility transitions. These metals are found in iron manganese nodules and polymetallic massive sulphides in largely unexplored deep-sea areas. Effective spatial planning aligned with Goal 14 is necessary to utilise these resources sustainably. However, this is hindered by our limited knowledge of the deep sea.

The KIMERA project aims to create an AI over three years to extend habitat and raw material research findings to the entire deep sea in a data-based and controlled manner. The resulting predictive maps provide a crucial basis for the planning and designation of marine protected areas and potential areas of utilisation. Led by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, GmbH assists in data collection and AI development, with the final AI models integrated into TrueOcean.


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