Benthic Habitat Mapping

Utilisation of Multi-beam Backscatter for Ecological Study of the Seafloor
The establishment of multi-beam echo sounders (MBES) as a mainstream tool in ocean mapping has revolutionised approaches towards nautical charting, seafloor geotechnical/geological surveys and benthic habitat mapping. The resolution of bathymetric and backscatter data collected by MBES has improved significantly in recent years through technological improvements of these acoustic systems. Furthermore, developments in data collection and processing of MBES backscatter have resulted in the increasing preferential use of multi-beam technology over conventional side-scan sonar or single beam sonar for these applications. This article explores some recent developments in the methods used to generate benthic habitat maps using multi-beam sonar systems.... (read more)
2012-07-26 02:55:45

EIVA Sponsors Benthic Mapping Programme

EIVA, Denmark, has entered into a partnership with the College of Charleston and University of Washington, USA, on the benthic acoustic mapping and survey (BEAMS) programme. This joint journey will centre around knowledge-sharing and training across the Atlantic Ocean, concerned with matters below the water’s surface. When EIVA learned of the BEAMS programme, the opportunity of establishing a partnership focusing on knowledge-sharing was an obvious ship to board. The partnership revolves around internships at EIVA’s headquarters in Denmark and an annual 3-day training workshop, taught by EIVA instructors, where the EIVA software suite is put to use at both the... (read more)
2013-02-01 12:00:00

University of Iceland chooses Gavia AUV

The University of Iceland, Institute of Biology have purchased a 500m rated Gavia AUV. The Institute of Biology will utilise their Gavia AUV primarily for scientific research into seafloor morphology, water quality, benthic habitat monitoring, and for estimating density of commercially important benthic species such as crabs and mollusks as well as hydrographic surveys.   In addition to the many projects planned in Icelandic waters later this year, the University of Iceland plans to use their Gavia later this year in Norway and in the Faeroe Islands with the objectives of benthic habitat monitoring and evaluation of the influence of... (read more)
2008-07-09 12:00:00

Sidescan Sonar Survey for Nord Stream

MMT (Sweden) has been awarded a contract for sidescan sonar survey and a camera-based study of benthic fauna by Nord Stream. The scope of Nord Stream's monitoring campaign is to assess the impact of the presence of the pipelines on the near-seabed currents through the observation of potential localised scour and sedimentation. To determine seabed sediment features such as objects, linear features, obstructions and sediment characteristics, MMT will use an ROTV-mounted sidescan sonar system. The survey will be performed this summer in Finnish waters followed by a camera-based study of benthic fauna on hard bottom south of the Sandkallan Natura... (read more)
2014-05-26 09:45:52

The Norwegian MAREANO Seafloor Mapping Programme

Although the marine resources in Norwegian offshore waters are quite intensively exploited by primarily the petroleum industry and fisheries, the knowledge about seafloor habitats is scarce. Any destructive consequences from e.g. petroleum-related seafloor installations and fishing gears on the benthic environment may therefore in general be challenging to foresee. Factors that might be negatively influenced may include e.g. benthic species diversity, benthic production and bottom substrate. This, and the need for filling the obvious benthic knowledge gaps offshore, was a main driver behind the establishment of the MAREANO programme – Marine Areal Database for Norwegian Waters. The process towards a... (read more)
2012-06-11 01:29:43

In situ Measurements of Seabed Mobility

Partrac has recently directly measured seabed erosion and deposition rates at a deep water location on the UK continental shelf. This initiative comprises part of a partnership project led by Portsmouth, NOC and Cefas and funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and supported equally by Defra as part of the Marine Ecosystem Connections (MECs) project.   In a collaborative venture with Dr Gary Fones of Portsmouth University and Dr Ruth Parker and her colleagues at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), Partrac deployed their 'Voyager II' benthic flume at three offshore sites as part of... (read more)
2008-06-12 11:01:26

Sediment Stability Instrumentation Added to 'Sediment? Solved' Range

Aquatec Group has expanded the 'Sediment? Solved' range to include instrumentation to measure surface sediment stability, with the addition of Partrac’s benthic flumes and Cohesive Strength Meter (CSM). The Cohesive Strength Meter is a field instrument that directly measures the surface erodibility of marine, fluvial and terrestrial sediments. It permits rapid assessment of sediment critical entrainment stress and provides a relative measure of erosion rate. This information is important for the understanding of benthic habitat stability, contaminated sediment dispersal, river bank and agricultural land stability, and the geomorphology of estuaries and coastal areas. Partrac’s Voyager II sea flume is an... (read more)
2017-06-21 09:09:09


Mapping benthic habitat in regions of gradational substrata: An automated approach utilising geophysical, geological, and biological relationships. Brown, C.J. and Collier, J.S. 2008. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science , 78: 203–214. Marine scientists have recently turned to the use of acoustic systems, such as sidescan sonar, to assist in understanding and mapping the spatial extent of seabed habitats. The overall aim of this work was to investigate the potential of sidescan for automatic discrimination of benthic habitat and to assess what level of biological prediction is achievable. The relationship between acoustic backscatter, sediment characteristics and benthic habitat is examined using... (read more)
2008-08-28 12:00:00

Post-trawling Seabed Recovery

A voyage to find out what happens to seabed fauna in a deep-water trawling area if you leave it undisturbed several years got underway on 9th May 2011. The RRS James Cook set sail from Glasgow, Scotland (UK) in the direction of Rockall Trough, Rockall Bank and Hatton Basin, .     The deep-water banks and basins to the northwest of the UK are rich habitats for a variety of benthic species, including sponge reefs, cold-water coral mounds and sediment communities. At the same time, those areas form important fishing grounds for an international fishing fleet, including bottom fisheries such... (read more)
2011-05-12 09:13:49

Western Isles Connection Survey Operations Completed

Seabed survey contractor Bibby HydroMap completed geophysical, geotechnical, benthic and land survey operations along the route from mainland Scotland to the Isle of Lewis, UK, on behalf of client SHE Transmission. Three vessels were used during the survey; 27.5m DP1 Bibby Tethra for offshore geophysics, geotechnical sampling and benthic operations, 14m MV Proteus for nearshore geophysics and the 9m RIB Cougar to ensure overlap between the inshore and land survey. Over 1,000 line km of survey data were acquired with Bibby Tethra, using the vessel’s newly installed dual head Kongsberg EM2040-4, with the towed Edgetech 4200 side scan sonar and... (read more)
2016-08-11 09:58:07
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