Quantitative characterisation of seafloor substrate and bedforms using advanced processing of multibeam backscatter-Application to Cook Strait, New Zealand

Type Article
Date 2011-02
Language English
Author(s) Lamarche Geoffroy1, Lurton Xavier2, Verdier Anne-Laure1, Augustin Jean-Marie2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Natl Inst Water & Atmospher Res NIWA Ltd, Wellington 6241, New Zealand.
2 : IFREMER, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Continental Shelf Research (0278-4343) (Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd), 2011-02 , Vol. 31 , N. 2 , P. S93-S109
DOI 10.1016/j.csr.2010.06.001
WOS© Times Cited 88
Keyword(s) Backscatter, Multibeam echo-sounder, Sediment waves, Habitat mapping
Abstract A comprehensive EM300 multibeam echo-sounder dataset acquired from Cook Strait, New Zealand, is used to develop a regional-scale objective characterisation of the seafloor. Sediment samples and high-resolution seismic data are used for ground-truthing. SonarScope (R) software is used to process the data, including signal corrections from sensor bias, specular reflection compensation and speckle noise filtering aiming at attenuating the effects of recording equipment, seafloor topography, and water column. The processing is completed by correlating a quantitative description (the Generic Seafloor Acoustic Backscatter-GSAB model) with the backscatter data. The calibrated Backscattering Strength (BS) is used to provide information on the physical characteristics of the seafloor. The imagery obtained from the BS statistical compensation is used for qualitative interpretation only; it helps characterizing sediment facies variations as well as geological and topographic features such as sediment waves and erosional bedforms, otherwise not recognised with the same level of detail using conventional surveying. The physical BS angular response is a good indicator of the sediment grain size and provides a first-order interpretation of the substrate composition. BS angular response for eight reference areas in the Narrows Basin are selected and parameterised using the GSAB model, and BS angular profiles for gravelly, sandy, and muddy seafloors are used as references for inferring the grain size in the reference areas. We propose to use the calibrated BS at 45 degrees incidence angle (BS45) and the Specular-To-Oblique Contrast (STOC) as main global descriptors of the seafloor type. These two parameters enable global backscatter studies by opposition to compensated imagery whose intensity is not comparable from one zone to the other. The results obtained highlight the interest of BS measurements for seafloor remote sensing in a context of habitat-mapping applications. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Lamarche Geoffroy, Lurton Xavier, Verdier Anne-Laure, Augustin Jean-Marie (2011). Quantitative characterisation of seafloor substrate and bedforms using advanced processing of multibeam backscatter-Application to Cook Strait, New Zealand. Continental Shelf Research, 31(2), S93-S109. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2010.06.001 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00031/14260/