MH370 Phase 2 Data Visualisation

MH370 Phase 2 Data Visualisation

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Resource type


On behalf of Australia, and in support of the Malaysian accident investigation, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) led search operations for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Geoscience Australia provided advice, expertise and support to the ATSB to facilitate marine surveys, which were undertaken to provide a detailed map of the sea floor topography and to aid navigation during the underwater search. 

What this product offers

This dataset comprises Side Scan Sonar (SSS), Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) and multibeam sonar backscatter data at 5 m resolution.

Data was collected during Phase 2 marine surveys conducted by the Governments of Australia, Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China between September 2014 to January 2017. 

The data was acquired by Echo Surveyor 7 (Kongsberg AUV Hugin 1000), Edgetech 2400 Deep Tow and SLH PS-60 Synthetic Aperture Sonar Deep Tow deployed from the following vessels: Fugro Supporter, Fugro Equator, Fugro Discovery, Havila Harmony, Dong Hai Jiu 101 and Go Phoenix. 


The MH370 Phase 2 dataset provides a 5 m resolution overview of the sonar data (Side Scan Sonar, Synthetic Aperture Sonar and multibeam sonar backscatter) acquired during the operational search.

It aims to be more accessible and user friendly to a non-scientific user than the supplied raw and processed data. It is recommended that detailed interrogations make use of the 'raw and processed' data, which is at a higher resolution and without obscured overlap regions.

Data access

Link to data THREDDS
Link to maps AusSeabed Marine Data Portal
Web services Marine Data Discover Portal Web Mapping Service (WMS)
Marine Data Discover Portal Web Feature Service (WFS)
Marine Data Discover Portal Web Coverage Service (WCS)
eCat record 120969
CMI RESTful node ID 223
NCI project code iy57
NCI product name MH370 Phase 2
Use constraints

Not to be used for navigation purposes.

Security classification Unclassified
Update frequency asNeeded

Technical information

This product is supplied in four aggregated layers, based on company/vessel of acquisition. These are Fugro Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Fugro Deep Tow, Dong Hai Jiu 101, and Go Phoenix. Within each layer, the data is made up of a number of non-overlapping tiles. All data is in GeoTiff format, in WGS84 coordinate system (non-projected).

Accuracy and limitations

The resolution of the product has been down-scaled to 5 m resolution from the originally supplied 1 m processed data. All input data to this product is as supplied to Geoscience Australia by third party organisations.

Quality assurance

As an aggregated summary of input data as supplied by third party organisations, quality assurance is as applies to the original input data.

The 5 m visualisation product underwent testing across various software platforms prior to release.


  • software 1
  • software 2
  • software 3

Relevant websites


The MH370 Phase 2 5 m resolution dataset provides an overview of the sonar data (Side Scan Sonar, Synthetic Aperture Sonar and multibeam sonar backscatter) acquired during the operational search. This product aims to be more accessible and user friendly to a non-scientific user than the supplied raw and processed data.

The dataset is split into four different layers (Fugro Deep Tow, Fugro Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Go Phoenix and Dong Hai Jiu 101) according to the system used to acquire the data. There is considerable overlap between these different layers, and within the layers, which aims to show features from various perspectives.

The 5 m mosaicked dataset was collated from original line by line data supplied by third party organisations throughout the duration of the search in .gdb, .png and .tif formats. Esri mosaicking tools were used to produce the standardised GeoTiff output. There was no preferences given for overlapping data within each of the layers. All data was reprojected (from either UTM Zone 45S or UTM Zone 46S) to WGS84, and tiled for ease of post-processing and delivery. As a whole, the four layers are designed to sit within a web service in the following order from bottom to top: Dong Hai Jiu 101, Go Phoenix, Fugro Deep Tow, and Fugro Autonomous Underwater Vehicle.

Data sources

Schema / spatial extent

MH370 WGS84

Update frequency asNeeded
Temporal extent
Min. longitude 85.00
Max. longitude 95.00
Min. latitude -40.00
Max. latitude -32.00
Coordinate reference system WGS 84 (EPSG: 4326)
Cell size X 5.00
Cell size Y 5.00


Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International License

Rights statement

© Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia) 2018. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Geoscience Australia wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the Government of Malaysia, the People's Republic of China, the Australian Government, Fugro Survey Pty Ltd, SL Hydrospheric LLC, Sherrell Ocean Services, GK Consulting and the crews of the Go Phoenix, Dong Hai Jiu 101, Fugro Discovery, Fugro Equator, Fugro Supporter and the Havila Harmony.

All material and data from this access point is subject to copyright. Please note the creative commons copyright notice and relating to the re-use of this material.

Geoscience Australia's preference is that you attribute the datasets (and any material sourced from it) using the following wording: Source: Governments of Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China, 2018. MH370 Phase 2 data.

For additional assistance, please contact

We honour the memory of those who have lost their lives and acknowledge the enormous loss felt by their loved ones.