Global oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth's surface.They are essential to the society as source of food andminerals, an economic means of transporting goods and,moreover, their influence on the global climate andenvironment is beyond dispute. Despite our reliance on theoceans and its resources, it remains a frontier for scientificexploration and discovery. Until few decades ago, humanactivities including research and industrial exploitation havefocussed mainly on the coastal areas. After the invention ofmultibeam sonar techniques, mid 70th, marine researches alsoconcentrate on the deep ocean floor. The importance of thesubmarine relief for the ocean is evident. In general, the seafloor plays an important role to the interaction betweengeosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.and animation.Since 1983, AWI conducts with its research icebreaker RV"Polarstern" interdisciplinary expeditions to the polar oceans.The multibeam sonar system HYDROSWEEP DS-2 servesas a key instrument to map and image the sea floortopography. The 90° fan, oriented perpendicular to the ship'slength axes, consists of 59 single sonar beams.HYDROSWEEP supplies depth and backscatter data for eachsonar beam and sidescan images. Digital terrain models,derived from the sonar data, are utilized to create bathymetriccharts and perform morphogenetic relief studies. Resultsfrom investigations in Arctic and Antarctic waters will bepresented, using modern techniques, including 3D-visualizationand animation.