Predictive mapping of seabed cover, benthic habitats, benthic biodiversity using multibeam bathymetry and backscatter data
Description of Work:
Coastal marine benthic environment, which is dreadfully under-studied, has significant economic and conservation values. Sustainable management of this marine ecosystem requires high quality physical and biological datasets on the benthic environment and scientific evidence on the interactions between these physical and the biological variables. Modern mutlibeam sonar systems, with different sonar frequencies, are capable of accurately mapping large area of seabed from water depth of a few metres to thousands metres. They can provide high-resolution and near-complete coverage of bathymetry and acoustic backscatter data for mapping seabed substrata, benthic habitats and benthic biota.
The proposed project would involve intensive field campaigns collecting multibeam data, water column data, sediment samples and biological data. The collaboration with OUC is critical for the collection and analysis of these data. We would provide expertise in the areas of data analysis, modelling and result interpretation.