On Google Maps I just found a drain east of Newfoundland:

enter image description here

More details at https://www.scribblemaps.com/maps/view/What_is_that/Jafix1

I wonder what that could be?

I heard about issues from different datasources which can occur when Google mixes data from NOAA or other sources with their own. Or could that be issued by a giant ice mountain drifting southwards? Or from the last ice age?


It is an artifact of the processing software when it processes Multibeam Bathymetric Survey data. You can get the lines of the different surveys from NGBC at NOAA (https://maps.ngdc.noaa.gov/viewers/bathymetry/). As you can see in the image below both lines you see in your example correspond to multibeam data. In the area there is a fair amount of single-beam bathymetry, but the multibeam bathy is often weighted differently creating artifacts in some cases. The GEBCO bathymetry does not contain the artifact. Gebco bathy

  • $\begingroup$ I believe you but it is interesting that it lines up with the edge of the canyon on the eastern end of the Grand Banks and the western edge of the shallow area north of there. Is there any chance that the specific expression is an artifact of the processing but reflects an underlying structure in the area that otherwise was smoothed out? $\endgroup$ – haresfur Jun 28 '17 at 9:51
  • $\begingroup$ That is definitely a possibility. Ultimately some of the algorithms have a hard time when they detect sharp gradients. $\endgroup$ – arkaia Jun 28 '17 at 15:32

I can't see there being any physical cause - the water depths are too great for an ice mountain and the feature cross-cuts other geological features. Plus, it's not aligned with either the spreading axis of the mid Atlantic ridge or normal to it. That means that it is highly unlikely to be a fault or a hotspot track.

Given that, some sort of processing artifact seems most likely.


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