AMSTERDAM - Engineers have started a months-long survey to map uncharted deep-sea terrain at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, the next step in the search for the wreck of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.
A survey ship from Dutch engineering company Fugro began mapping out an area larger than the Netherlands, some 1000 miles east of Australia's northwest coast.
The search for the lost plane is expected to cost $56 million over the first year.
"It's a rough area," said Rob Luijnenburg, strategy director at Fugro, which usually conducts surveys for oil and telecommunications companies. "The area has mountains, ridges, valleys, and you can't see a lot down there unless you make it visible with technology."
It will take roughly three months for the Fugro Equator survey ship, which is being assisted by a Chinese naval vessel, to map out the typography of the ocean floor.
Carrying 239 crew and passengers, the Boeing 777 disappeared from radar screens on March 8 shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.
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