A recent article in Geology shows the first digital map of the Earth's seafloor geology. The last geologic map of the ocean floor was made 40 years ago and was hand drawn. This map specifically documents the distribution of sediments using 14,500 samples throughout the world.
The new seafloor map also specifically looks at microscopic fossils on the seafloor. You can think of the bottom of the ocean as a giant graveyard. Anything that dies in the ocean will ultimately fall to the seafloor. This information is critical to understand environmental and life-cycle changes throughout the oceans.