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Utilizing physical parameters for predicting shipworm Teredo navalis spreading in the Baltic Sea: the WreckProtect Project
Zyad Al-Hamdani1, Christin Appleqvist2, Per Jonsson2, Jon Havenhand2
Geological Survey of Denmark & Greenland, 1350
Marine Ecology- Tjärnö,
Wooden structures such as shipwrecks were
adequately preserved in the
Recently there had been new reports on the
shipworm Teredo navalis attack on shipwrecks. The spatial
distribution of these reports is extending from the Kattegat to
the southern part of the
A GIS model was build using the
ModelBuilder to visually elaborate the spatial
extension of the Teredo scenario over the given
period of time. A spreading model was also used to investigate
the dispersal extension of the shipworm in the
Figure 1. Top water layer frequency of occurrence of the Teredo Scenario.
Geographic distribution of natant decapod shrimps
Md. Zeenatul Basher1, Mark J. Costello1, David A. Bowden2
Leigh Marine Laboratory, The
2) National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) Ltd.,
This study used new field data and
environmental modelling of the distribution of natant decapod
crustaceans to identify what environmental variables most
influenced their distribution and predict their distribution in
Sedimentary processes and habitats on a shallow strandflat bank,
Valérie Bellec1, Reidulv Bøe1, Terje Thorsnes1, Leif Rise1,
Margaret Dolan1, Lis Lindal Jørgensen2
Geological Survey of
This study focuses on a shallow (20200 m water depth) strandflat bank named Alangstaren located between Tromsøflaket and the coastline. The bank represents an unusually large, submerged part of the Norwegian mainland (to the southwest) comprising Palaezoic and Precambrian bedrock. On all other sides it is bordered by glacial troughs eroded by ice streams, and deep glacial lineations occur on the surface of the bank. The Norwegian Coastal Current is strong in this area (maximum velocity over 0.50 cm/s). It comes from the southwest and turns clockwise around the bank.
The shallowest areas of the bank mainly comprise bedrock covered by kelp forest. On the sea floor between the kelp leaves we find common sea stars (Asterias rubens), bushy bryozoans, worms living in calcareous tubes (Sepulidae polychaeta), and red algae.
The kelp forest reaches down to 37 m depth. Seaweeds and high density fauna cause the multibeam backscatter to exhibit lower values than those expected for bedrock. Deep depressions in the bank are filled by sediments (coarse sand to boulders). Current and wave ripples are common on the sediment surfaces. Rippled scour depressions occur on bank slopes, with coarse sediments in depressions and rippled sand between depressions. Mud and sandy mud are deposited in deeper water areas, indicating a drop in current velocity. The change in sediment type seems to occur between 150 and 200 m water depth. A sea bottom covered by several hundred brittle stars per square meter was discovered.
This bank is very different from other banks in the MAREANO area, such as Malangsgrunnen and Sveinsgrunnen, which comprise sedimentary bedrock covered by a succession of coarse grained till that is being eroded by strong ocean currents. The strandflat bank occurs at depths similar to the banks built of glacial material, but has a much more undulating and uneven topography. Very little sedimentation occurs and the depositional environment is similar to the near-coast depositional environment.
The differences in morphology and sedimentary processes lead to different habitats at similar depths, demonstrating that widely different habitats can occur in the same depth intervals. The links between habitats and sedimentary processes will be discussed, with emphasis on landscape forming processes and biology.
Mapping the coastal benthic fauna of south of Portugal
using two statistical techniques
Luis Bentes, Pedro Monteiro, Frederico Oliveira, Jorge M.S. Gonçalves
Centre of Marine Sciences, CCMAR/CIMAR, Universidade do Algarve,
de Gambelas, 8005-139
In the south coast of
Side scan survey and ground truthing were conducted to identify the main sedimentological categories present. Benthic fauna was sampled in rocky areas with underwater visual census and using a beam trawl in soft bottom areas.
Two statistical techniques were used to create maps using the sampling points, Generalized Additive Models (GAM) and geostatistical kriging. The results were compared between the two techniques.
Both models provide a clear view of the biological distribution patterns sampled.
The same pattern of distribution was obtained, with the two models showing the rocky areas with higher densities than the soft bottom areas, however the GAM model provides a wider range of values with higher maximum and lower minimum.
Multibeam echosounder seabed mapping of the
Sebastien O. C. Boulay, Alexandre C.G. Schimel, Willem De Lange,
To investigate the impacts of the solid breakwaters, a sediment transport modelling study and a habitat-mapping survey using acoustic mapping techniques will be undertaken. The overall goal of the mapping part of this project is to identify and locate the different seabed facies and features within the study site, which may be affected by the sediment transport potentially resulting from the future construction.
The acoustic mapping survey will be performed using a Kongsberg-Simrad EM3000 multibeam echosounder. The backscatter data from this system will be used for habitat mapping, while its accurate depth data will be used for sediment transport modelling. An underwater camera and seabed sampling will then be used to ground-truth the morphologies identified from the acoustic backscatter analysis.
The first part of this presentation will
discuss the aim and objectives of data acquisition for habitat
mapping in the
classification of cold water coral seabed (Bay of Biscay
1) Ifremer-Geosciences Marines, BP70, 29280 Plouzané, France
2) Ifremer-Environnements Profonds, BP70, 29280 Plouzané, France
Cold water corals (CWC) are declared vulnerable ecosystem by several international organizations. In European waters, tools to assess the impact on fisheries and the effectiveness of protected areas are lacking. European CoralFISH project aims to study the interaction between CWC, fish and fisheries through an ecosystem-based approach. One of the objectives is to provide a comprehensive characterization of CWC habitats based on geophysical and ground-truthing data.
All along the northern margin of the
A classification methodology based on the combination of several morphological attributes is applied on DTM. Attributes derived from DTM and used to initiate the automated classification are local slopes at different scales, residual bathymetry, drainage network and distances to the thalwegs. It allows delineating the megageoforms and next delineating smaller scale geoforms thanks to a specific morphological analysis. Meso-geoforms such as canyon beds and banks, falls, escarpments, flanks, crests, and other as mounds present in the interfluve areas will be defined together with the method(s) for automatic identification from the DTM attributes. The corresponding codes of the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard are also considered. Historical occurrences of CWC can thereby be related to the geomorphological type.
of Maërl facies from southern
Valentina Bracchi, A. Savini, D. Basso
of Geological Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca,
Coralline red-algae are one of the most important carbonate sediment contributors in the benthic communities of Mediterranean area. They represent one of the most productive ecosystems in temperate regions.
Several types of assemblages and seafloor features have been described so far, due to the high heterogeneity of coralline growth-forms, distributed from the intertidal down to 160 m water depth (wd), from corniche to maërl to coralligenous build-ups.
Many benthic habitats, for example the coralligenous framework, have three-dimensional structure that serve as shelter and provide storm protection by buffering wave action along coastlines.
Furthermore, carbonate facies like maërl are considered highly-biodiversity spots and are protected by European laws.
In European waters, maërl occur throughout the Mediterranean and are patchily distributed along the Atlantic coast. Maërl represents an important fraction of the coastal detritic biocoenosis. Light, salinity and temperature seem to be the main environmental factors influencing the distribution of this facies.
Maërl sediments are characterized by accumulations of calcareous free-living non-geniculate coralline algae, referred to as rhodoliths, and they develop and accumulate on soft bottoms influenced by laminar currents, producing characteristic calcareous deposits which constitute major sources of carbonate sediment.
Phymatolithon calcareum (Pallas) W.H. Adey & D.L. McKibbin and Lithothamnion corallioides (P. L. & H. M. Crouan) P. L. & H. M. Crouan are the main European maërl forming species.
The areal definition and the investigation of these environments are fundamental scientific topics with strong implications for resource management and preservation policies.
We collected acoustic data (by means of Side
Scan Sonar and Chirp-Sub bottom profiler) of maërl beds
from Cilento peninsula,
Acoustic data have been processed in order to define the related echo-facies in the framework of literature models and the main features of the acoustic response. Grain size analyses of the biogenic sediments and identification of the benthic associations and carbonate producers have been performed.
A precise relationship between the identified coralline facies and its acoustic response is here proposed, in order to improve the detection and spatial delimitation of these biogenic carbonate deposits and high biodiversity spots.
Multiple methods, maps, and management applications: purpose made maps in support of ocean management
Craig J. Brown1/2*, Stephen J. Smith1, Jessica Sameoto1, Peter Lawton3, Gerard Costello2, Brian Todd4
1) Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography,
2) Canadian Hydrographic Service, Bedford Institute of Oceanography,
Fisheries and Oceans
4) Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic), Natural Resources Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
address: McGregor Geoscience Ltd.,
The establishment of multibeam echosounders (MBES) as a mainstream tool in ocean mapping has facilitated integrative approaches towards nautical charting, benthic habitat mapping, and seafloor geotechnical surveys. The inherent bathymetric and backscatter information generated by MBES enables marine scientists to present highly accurate bathymetric data with a spatial resolution closely matching that of terrestrial mapping. Furthermore, developments in data collection and processing of MBES backscatter, combined with the quality of the co-registered depth information, have resulted in the increasing preferential use of multibeam technology over conventional sidescan sonar for the production of benthic habitat maps. A range of post-processing approaches can generate customized map products to meet multiple ocean management needs, thus extracting maximum value from a single survey data set.
Based on recent studies over German Bank off
SW Nova Scotia,
Through the process of applying multiple methods to generate multiple maps for specific management needs, we demonstrate the efficient use of survey data sets to maximize the benefit to a wide number of potential end users.
Predictive modelling of benthic assemblages: performance of modelling techniques in a Baltic-wide perspective
Martynas Bucas1, Mats Lindegarth2, Anna-Leena Downie3,
Ulf Bergstrom4, Göran Sundbland5
1) Coastal Research and Planning Institute, Klaipeda University, LT 92294, Klaipeda, Lithuania
2) University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30, Gothenburg, Sweden
Environment Institute, FI-00251,
4) Swedish Board
of Fisheries, SE-740 71,
Development and application of various statistical techniques and GIS tools, the progress of predictive species/habitat distribution models has rapidly increased in ecology. Such models are useful in biogeography, conservation biology, climate change research, and habitat or species management. A wide array of statistical techniques, with different purposes and data requirements, is available for fitting data and predictive species modelling. When data is available on the presence of a potential target variable (but not absences), methods such as geographic and climatic envelopes utilise multivariate methodology and machine learning to predict the presences and absences (occurrence). These methods generally perform poorer than models based on occurrence data. Nevertheless, modern methods based on the data of presences only, (e.g. Maximum entropy MAXENT) are able to fit more complex functions between the response and predictor variables, and generally outperform the other presence only methods. When occurrence and/or quantitative (such as per cent cover, species diversity or biomass) data is available of a target variable, a multitude of methods can be applied, including, generalized linear and additive models (e.g. GLM, GAM, Multivariate adaptive regression splines MARS), machine learning methods (e.g. Random forest rF), and Bayesian methods.
In this research we aim to compare the
performance of several types of models (GAM, MARS, rF, MAXENT and
Kriging) on two type of data, occurrence and quantitative, in
order to arrive at recommendations for cost-efficient and precise
modelling practices to be used in spatial planning in the marine
environment. The response variables are chosen typical
In the results we have obtained that in general all modeling methods perform well, but there are some differences in the performance of species models among study areas, responses and data quality. These differences are analyzed and discussed in presentation.
Seafloor classification of a gully system offshore the island
of Sylt (NW
Dietmar Bürk1*, H. Christian Hass2, Finn Mielck2, Alexander Bartholomä3, Peter Holler3, Hans-Christian Reimers4, Ingrid Kröncke3, Edith Markert3
1) Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Institute of Coastal Research,
Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, 25992
Senckenberg by the Sea, Marine Research Department, 26382
4) State Agency for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas (LLUR),
In September 2010 an area extending
approximately 1km east-west and 3km north-south offshore the
The area with water depths ranging from 12 to 18m showed a system of sinuous gullies with an east-west orientation. In the southern part of the area, where the water depths are shallowest, patchy depressions and plateau-like structures were observed. The backscatter intensity of the EM710 multibeam data was higher in the gullies and in the depressions in comparison with the elevated areas. High backscatter intensities corresponded to coarse-grained sands, whereas low backscatter intensities corresponded to fine to medium-grained sands. The benthic samples of these two distinct acoustic facies were clearly different.
To perform and evaluate an automated classification of the multibeam depth and backscatter data, a software tool was developed. It allows reading and writing of the gridded bathymetry and backscatter data in netCDF format, and applies a moving box filter to both datasets. Inside the box filter various parameters are calculated, e.g. the mean value, a percentile, and the standard deviation. The object-oriented design of the software enables an easy extension with other parameters. The calculated values from the moving box are used as observations for a cluster analysis. Here the k-means algorithm is applied. The result of the clustering is the classified map and various scatter plots of the box filter values. In addition, the software allows loading grain size analysis data from Excel sheets. The grain size data, e.g. gravel, shell debris, sand and mud content are analysed using a hierarchical clustering. The seafloor samples can then be plotted with different symbols according to their sediment class in a Folk ternary diagram and in the maps at the sample locations. Finally, the match between sediment classes and acoustic classes can be evaluated.
The automated classification of the EM710 geoacoustic dataset of the survey area is then compared with the result of the ECHOplus seabed classification, the analysis of the benthic samples, and the class maps resulting from the analysis of the sidescan sonar data with the Quester Tangent QTC software suite.
Advances in broad-scale habitat mapping for
Andy Cameron, Fionnuala McBreen, Natalie Askew
Acquiring sufficient full coverage acoustic data and biological ground-truthing for widespread direct mapping of seabed habitats at a European scale would be prohibitively expensive and take many years. There is now an implicit requirement for continuous mapping that can be applied across European regions as part of the Initial Assessments for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Transnational marine spatial planning and information-based management need to be informed by the best-available data if they are to achieve long-term sustainable use and management of the marine environment and its resources. There is therefore a clear need to create full coverage maps by predicting seabed habitats.
EUSeaMap and UKSeaMap 2010 are two projects
that provide such maps. EUSeaMap (www.jncc.gov.uk/EUSeaMap) is a
European Commission (EC) funded project, under the initiative to
build a European Marine Observation Data Network (EMODnet), that
has produced broad-scale predictive habitat maps for over 2
million square kilometres of seabed covering four geographic
areas of the European seas: Celtic, North, Baltic and western
Mediterranean seas. UKSeaMap (www.jncc.gov.uk/UKSeaMap) has
developed a map for the
Figure 1. Harmonised seabed habitat map across the EUSeaMap regions.
Modelling wrack deposits
Ida Carlén, Martin Isaeus
Water Research, Svante Arrhenius väg 21A, 114 18
Wrack deposits, phytodetritus deposited on the shore, constitute a vital nutrient subsidy at the interface between marine and terrestrial ecosystems. By using spatially explicit modelling, we demonstrate how the distribution and abundance of bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) deposits can be predicted.
We envision four processes that determine the distribution of wrack deposits: 1) production of algae; 2) dislodgement of algae; 3) transportation of drift algae and debris; 4) accumulation at the shoreline.
The aim of this study was to analyse and
model each of these steps in order to predict the deposits of
bladderwrack Fucus vesiculosus along the shores of
For modelling wrack deposits at the shoreline, two innovative environmental variables were used as predictors. Dislodgement potential was calculated as the sum of the % cover of Fucus inside a certain radius. Bay indices were calculated by placing points every 10 meters along the coastline of Gräsö and creating 8 radiating lines from each point. The lines were then cut using the coastline. For every point, the length of the remaining lines were calculated and used as a bay index.
Results show that the probability of finding beach cast detritus was larger on points and headlands, which are more exposed to waves and closer to algal production areas. However, wrack is sequentially transported further into small bays and sheltered areas in the vicinity where large amounts of bladderwrack accumulate. These results are important for the continued research on the impact of nutrient flow across ecosystem boundaries, particularly marine subsidies to the littoral environment.
Predicting the distribution of benthic habitats for
environmental impact assessment: examples from industry
Brenton S. Chatfield, Katrina J. Baxter, Alexia K. Bivoltsis
Creating inventories of marine resources at the scale and resolution required for environmental impact assessments, monitoring change, and for developing policy and management strategies is one of the challenges we face for supporting sustainable ocean management.
Limited funding for research organisations often restricts the spatial extent and/or the amount of data that can be investigated. This results in either high resolution information over small areas, or sparse information over larger areas. While industry typically has significantly larger budgets, full coverage benthic habitat surveys can still be cost prohibitive. The consequence is uncertainty around what biota is actually present, and therefore, uncertainty around how much impact a development may have on the environment.
Recently, industry proponents in
In addition to providing detailed baseline information about the existing environment to support environmental approvals, predictive modelling and mapping provides other benefits. Project footprints like pipeline corridors and berth and wharf infrastructure can be overlaid on habitat maps to identify areas where the habitat may be lost or impacted. When dredging activities are required, dredging footprints and the outputs from sediment plume modelling can be used in conjunction with biologically relevant thresholds (e.g. sediment loads, water turbidity, or light availability) to identify areas where sensitive biota may be impacted or influenced by dredging activity.
Through the use of predictive modelling, regulatory authorities have a much more comprehensive picture of what is present, and what the likely impacts from a development may be. This level of information has not previously been available and provides greater confidence in the outcomes of the environmental impact assessment process.
Angular response supervised classification and image segmentation for benthic biological habitat discrimination
Rozaimi Che Hasan1, 2 and Daniel Ierodiaconou1
Angular response from multibeam echosounder
(MBES) has the potential to be used for benthic habitat
characterization by preserving full angular variation from
different seabed habitats, whilst backscatter imagery provides
fine spatial resolution for the construction of habitat
characterisation maps. In this study we demonstrated how benthic
biological habitat distribution maps can be generated through
combination of angular response and backscatter imagery. We
combine supervised classification of angular response data and
image segmentation techniques. We compare the (1) three
classifiers; Maximum Likelihood Classifier (MLC), Decision Trees
(DT) and Support Vector Machine (SVM), (2) variations in use of
angular response data (average angular response at specific
angular domain or full angular response of backscatter curve),
(3) three image segmentation levels. We observed that overall
accuracy and Kappa coefficients varied between classification
methods, number of variables used and between different
segmentation levels; for biotic class the overall accuracies from
66.9 % to 85.2%, Kappa coefficient values from 0.47 to 0.76 and
for substratum class the overall accuracies from 67.3% to 82.8%,
Kappa coefficient values from 0.48 to 0.71. Random
Origin and evolution of Macquarie Ridge Complex seamounts
Chris Conway1, Helen Bostock2, Richard Wysoczanski2,
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research,
Ridge Complex is a 1600 km-long bathymetric ridge comprised of
many discrete, elevated seamounts as it varies in depth from
150-1500 m below sea-level along its axis, and coincides with the
Australia-Pacific plate boundary south of
Underwater towed-camera investigation and epibenthic sled sampling of the seafloor reveal that seamounts originated as mid-ocean ridge volcanoes comprised of basaltic lava flows. Bathymetry and backscatter mapping reveals that this oceanic crust has since been sheared, accreted, uplifted and exhumed during (the last 10 Myr of) transform and convergent relative plate motion at the plate boundary. This deformation has given rise to elongate, plate boundary-parallel seamount morphologies. Three of the seamounts are characterized by broad summit plateaus, which were formed by wave erosion when their ridge sections were exposed to the sea surface and have since subsided.
seamounts are of a volcanic origin, they are manifest now as the
result of tectonic and geomorphic processes. Understanding the
geological origin and evolution of Southern Ocean seamounts is
crucial for producing a framework for studies of the biological
diversity and distribution of benthic ecosystems between
Using geological datasets to guide predictive
bottom-up biotope modelling: an example from the southern
Carol J. Cotterill1, R. Foster-Smith2, C. Barrio Frojan3,
B. Pearce4, D. Long1
The coastal zones of the
Comprehensive geological, geophysical and hydrodynamic datasets were acquired and analysed, and a series of 1:100,000 maps produced detailing sea-bed sediment distribution, sea-bed geomorphology, wavecrest density, dominant grain size distribution and sorting. This regional geological assessment provided the underpinning baseline onto which the distribution of 14 mapped biotope classes, gained from the analysis of discrete sampling, was placed. This was then passed through five models to produce a bottom-up regional predictive habitat classification, based on the interplay between different faunal assemblages with sediments, bedforms, bedform wavelengths, backscatter intensity and deviation, suspended particulate matter and tidal strength. The models used were multilogistic regression, maximum likelihood, neural learning, Decision Tree Analysis and maximum entropy.
The results suggested that this bottom-up approach utilising significant geological variables can work very well, revealing subtle, localised differences in distribution patterns across biota, with the flexibility to assess the specific impact of sediment type, suspended sediment, tidal strength etc on a particular biotope assemblage. It also indicated that the model output could be used as a predictive tool where survey data is limited. However, it is acknowledged that this method doesnt currently allow for comparison between surveys and regions at a national level.
The modelling results have shown that this method can create ecologically relevant habitat units that best represent the relationships between macrofauna and their benthic environment, even on a localised scale. Macrofaunal assemblages could be mapped relative to the specific environmental factors found to be influential in their distribution, thereby providing flexibility when assessing not only the impact of an environment on target species, but also in identifying the areas where the combination of geological and biological factors could imply a habitat under threat.
seabed processes with relevance to offshore renewable energy
installation in the
Coughlan1, Andy Wheeler1,
B. Dorschel1, T. Moerz2
2) Department of Marine Engineering Geology, MARUM,
Therefore, in September 2009 the Irish Sea
Marine Assessment (ISMA) was undertaken by University College
Cork (UCC), the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) and an
industrial partner to investigate areas within the east
Initial analyses of sedimentary bedforms particle size distributions in surface sediments indicate a marked decrease in current velocities from the southern end to the northern end of the study area. These observations are furthermore supported by acoustic backscatter pattern (groundtruthed by sediment samples and underwater video camera transects). Eventually, a combination of these data sets will be used in creating sediment facies distribution maps for the study area as well as determining sedimentary processes on the seabed.
Constraining a good geological model of an area is essential in both siting offshore installations as well as assessing the potential environmental impact of these installations. The ISMA datasets provide broad baseline parameters of relevance to siting offshore renewable energy devices and their environmental impacts. They also facilitate further studies focused on more site specific factors (e.g. scour, hydrodynamic and sediment transport interactions and ecosystem response). In this way, through a carefully designed seabed mapping exercise, we hope to develop adequate data collection protocols for sustainable offshore renewable energy development.
Characterizing wave and current stress on the sea floor
P. Soupy Dalyander, Bradford Butman, Christopher R. Sherwood,
Richard P. Signell, Page C. Valentine, John C. Warner
Can meso-scale geomorphology be used as a surrogate
to map benthic assemblages?
Jaime S. Davies1, Kerry A. Howell1, Heather Stewart2, Colin Jacobs3, Bhavani Narayanaswamy4, Neil Golding5
British Geological Survey,
National Oceanography Centre,
Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban,
Joint Nature Conservation Committee,
To implement ecologically representative networks of Marine Protected Areas, biologically meaningful maps are required to inform managers on the distribution and diversity of habitats. The use of large topographical features such as seamounts, banks and submarine canyons as a megahabitat landscape, have been used and proven useful for broad scale mapping over large areas. Whilst broad scale mapping may adequately represent some habitats, others are not distributed at the same spatial scale and thus require a different approach. To adequately represent the biology it is necessary to understand the distribution of habitats at a data acquisition level, or fine-scale, which can be related to, typically more generalised, broad scale maps that cover a wider geographic area. Relationships between biological assemblages and geomorphological features at a mesohabitat scale have been reported, e.g. cold-water coral reefs associated with mound features, although the link between geomorphology and biological communities is still unclear.
Two seabed surveys were undertaken in 2007
and 2009 to acquire multibeam and ground-truthing data from Anton
Dohrn Seamount, Rockall Bank and the SW Approaches canyon system
The use of meso-scale geomorphology as a tool for mapping benthic assemblages across three different megahabitat features will be discussed.
Mapping of moraine ridges and associated habitats
D. Daunys1*, M. Zakarauskas1, J. eckus2, A. Damuyte3,
A. Bitinas1, M. Bucas1
Coastal Research and Planning Institute,
3) Lithuanian Geological Survey
Underwater moraine ridges in the coastal
waters of the eastern
The substrate type, slope and other physical characteristics have been used in order to obtain geomorphological classification of the area. Such classification combined with biological thresholds (photic depth, exposure etc.) is used for further study of distinct seabed units, which have different biological importance. These units will be shortly discussed in a context of EUNIS habitat classification and Habitat Directive Annex I habitat types.
Shelf (Egadi Islands,
Silvana DAngelo, Andrea Fiorentino
ISPRA Geological Survey of Italy/Department for Soil Defense and Protection,
Curtatone, 3 00185
Close to the coast the calcareous rocks characterizing the island crop out on the seabottom or are covered only by a thin veneer of sediments. The main part of the shelf extends toward southeast, gently dipping till -110 m at an average slope of 1°. It is bordered on the northeast and southwest by two NNW-SSE trending active canyons, which draw sediments from the shelf and favour slope instability causing the withdrawal of the shelf break that runs at a depth between 100 and 110 m.
The shelf is characterized by intense currents that generate a marked turn-over of water, supplying nutrients and allowing oxygenation. They determine prevalently coarse carbonate sedimentation and originate different sedimentary structures. In the eastern sector of the shelf megaripples and sandwaves (height of 1.53 m, wavelength up to 20 m) are widespread. All deposits are of biogenic origin; their texture and composition vary according to hydrodynamics, type of substrate (soft or hard), depth and light penetration, which due to low turbidity of water reaches more than -40 m.
Biogenic sands dominate the shelf sedimentation; they are formed by a microassociation composed mostly by benthic forams, with planktonic forams as a minor component, and a macroassociation composed mainly by bivalves and at a lesser extent by gastropods.
Rhodoliths are abundant over a large area of the shelf, where they constitute the main component of sediments; the maerl and praline facies (sensu Peres
& Picard, 1964) represent the coarser (gravel) fraction of the biogenic sedimentation.
Posidonia oceanica grows following the patterns of sediments accumulation; in the study area it is distributed preferably close to the coast on the sediments covering the substrate. It plays a role in the sedimentary processes, capturing sediments and reducing wave energy; together with other plants, it also influences the composition of living assemblages that rely on them for shelter and nutrition.
Coralligenous build-ups are present in small patches, surrounded by the debris they originate. Other organisms such as sponges, corals, echinoderms, bryozoans and coelenterates were found living on and within the seafloor or as a minor fraction of the deposits.
A new habitat map of the British part of the English Channel
Markus Diesing, David Stephens, Roger Coggan
Worldwide, the oceans and marginal seas are under increasing pressure from human activities and there is an ever greater need for good habitat maps, both to underpin environmental and socio-economic impact assessments and to help in the development of effective management measures that will contribute to our responsible stewardship of the marine environment and the sustainable use of its resources. The development of habitat mapping is now driven more by specific policy needs than our innate desire to explore our world. For example, the European Unions Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires better habitat maps than exist at present to support assessments of the status of the seabed and the proportion of each habitat significantly affected by human activities. We report on methodological developments that can be applied to provide better predictive habitat maps.
We present a case study to develop an
improved habitat map for the British part of the
We applied a hybrid spatial prediction model to map sediment composition using both spatial autocorrelation and correlation with auxiliary predictors (bathymetry and derivatives thereof, wave and tidal shear stress, etc.). The proportion of sand, mud and gravel were then analysed to classify the sediments according to Folk textural classes and the EUNIS habitat schema.
Morphologically distinct bedrock outcrops were extracted from a detailed bathymetric data set (30 m by 30 m bins). Several measures of rugosity were tested using a training data set for their ability to discriminate between rock and non-rock. The Vector Ruggedness Measure was selected for use, applying a cut-off value to discriminate flat from rugged terrain. The latter class included subaqueous dunes and sandbanks which were subsequently separated from rock outcrops.
The sediment predictions and the bedrock layer were unified to yield a substrate map. This layer was finally intersected with modelled biological zones (infralittoral, circalittoral and deep circalittoral) and hydrodynamic energy at the seabed to derive the EUNIS habitat model.
A fine scale habitat map of a highly heterogeneous shallow
Anna-Leena Downie1, Jouko Nuorteva2, Heta Rousi3,1, Heikki Peltonen1
1) Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute
2) Finnish Naval Research Institute
The archipelago area near the small coastal
The seafloor surrounding Tvärminne was found to be highly heterogeneous. A clay basin is interrupted by outcrops of bedrock and boulders and different sized patches of sand and gravel. Gyttja clay has accumulated in places in sheltered depressions and also the deepest part of the study area. Each of these substrates house specific biological communities. The archipelago gradient with varying exposure to wave action, from very sheltered to exposed, adds another dimension to the environment governing the distribution of habitats in the area. The species compositions in the inner sheltered habitats, more prone to the effects of eutrophication, showed a clear difference from that in the outer more exposed habitats of the same substrate and depth characteristics. Here we present the resulting detailed habitat map, and descriptions of the communities associated with the different habitats.
Developing a GIS-based method for
automated marine landscape classification
Sigrid Elvenes1, Terje Thorsnes1, Lars Erikstad2, Margaret F. J. Dolan1
Geological Survey of
Institute for Nature Research, Gaustadalléen 21, 0349
As part of the ongoing regional,
multidisciplinary seabed mapping program MAREANO
(www.mareano.no), marine areas in
This study and earlier work in the MAREANO program represent the first attempts to map marine landscapes in the region. This process has been assisted by the availability of high-quality multibeam bathymetry data which have been acquired and assimilated through MAREANO. To help overcome subjectivity in the classification of marine landscapes we have developed a standardized method of landscape classification based on analyzing bathymetry data through a systematic approach. The classification is done in a GIS using the combinations of quantitative terrain descriptors including slope, curvature and neighborhood focal statistics, similar to methods frequently applied in terrestrial landscape mapping.
The classification method aims to identify individual landscape types based on the statistical properties of the bathymetry data. Our assumption is that the geomorphological differences between landscape classes result in different statistical properties of the quantitative terrain descriptors. This means that, through the selection of appropriate terrain descriptors and cut-off values, the classification process can be automated. The result is an objective, repeatable classification. Key terrain descriptors in distinguishing landscape types include relative relief, which identifies the range of depth values in a 1 km2 neighborhood and is used to differentiate between flat and hilly areas, and the bathymetric position index, which indicates whether a particular location is higher or lower than its neighbors.
So far the method has been applied to a 100 000 km2 area off North Norway, the geomorphology of which is topographically diverse and spans water depths from 0 to 2800 m. Seven different landscape classes have been identified through our analysis: Strandflat, continental slope, canyons, marine valleys, fjords, deep sea plain, and continental shelf plains. The completed landscape maps, together with other results from MAREANO, are publicly available at www.mareano.no.
Landscape maps such as these are valuable in
their own right for environmental management and further
scientific research. One important application within
MAREANO is the use of the landscape maps in the development of
benthic habitat maps for the offshore region (another level in
the NiN nature type hierarchy). Marine landscape classification
will continue as MAREANO progresses, with the refinement of the
approach presented here if needed. Although developed for
Sensitivity mapping; setting new standards for
marine environmental monitoring in
Øyvind Fjukmoen, Amund Ulfsnes
Det Norske Veritas, 1322 Høvik, Norway
When Norwegian Energy companies are planning and executing development in areas with possible sensitive or red-listed marine fauna (e.g. sand eel spawning grounds, deep sea coral reefs, honeycomb-worm reefs, or sponge beds), it does not pass unnoticed. The Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency generally demand visual mapping of the seabed habitats within the anticipated influential area of the activities. The demand for visual habitat surveys has grown substantially over the last years, and methods are becoming increasingly standardised. By combining visual methods with traditional sediment sampling, the stage is set for a modern approach to environmental monitoring offshore, and the availability of new types of environmental data is booming. Two case studies of applied visual techniques in combination with traditional standardised sediment surveys are presented; a habitat assessment of sand eel sediment preferences and visual mapping of sponge bed assemblages, both in relatively shallow areas destined to be subject to drilling activities.
The energy companies and their hired subcontractors often have different practices when it comes to planning and executing visual habitat surveys, and it is desirable to establish a common approach and a set of rules. With experiences from visual mapping for the petroleum industry, in areas with deep water corals and benthic communities dominated by large sponges, a Norwegian guideline for conducting standardised visual surveys is being developed. Standardised methods and equipment requirements not only provide quality assurance, but also secures high-quality data that offers new insight into the seabed communities. The combined data give a more holistic approach to the evaluation of the habitat sensitivity in an area prior to development, and provide new knowledge on any environmental effects on the sensitive fauna groups. The following case studies show how a combination of mapping techniques gives new meaning to what would otherwise be traditional baseline surveys.
Case 1: Sand eel habitat assessment
Sensitive fauna: Sand eel (Ammodytes)
Methods: Sidescan bathymetry, visual mapping (ROV) and sediment sampling
Result: Substrate composition and spatial patterns in area with preferred habitat for sand eel established
Case 2: Mapping of sponge assemblages and associated fauna
Sensitive fauna: Long-lived sponge communities
Methods: Multibeam sonar, visual mapping (ROV), sediment sampling
Result: Hi-resolution sponge distribution data, discovery of a new type of sponge- soft bottom fauna associations, substrate preferences for sponge communities at a small scale
Benthic habitat mapping: concerns using a combined approach (acoustic, sediment and biological data)
Rosa Freitas1, Fernando Ricardo1, Fábio Pereira2, Leandro Sampaio1, Susana Carvalho2, Miguel Gaspar2, Victor Quintino1,
Ana Maria Rodrigues1
1) CESAM & Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
2) Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos (INRB) / IPIMAR, Avenida 5 de Outubro, 8700-305 Olhão, Portugal
benthic biotopes, in the 230 meters depth range, were
analyzed and mapped using a combination of biological,
sedimentary and acoustic data. The surveyed area comprehended
approximately 270 km2, along the southeast coast of
This study indicates the importance of combining several layers of information in order to increase the spatial resolution of the main biotopes distribution (validating the acoustic data) and detail their sub-divisions (ground-truth sampling). Furthermore, the present work reveals that designing ground-truth samples on the basis of the acoustic diversity data is conditioning the ability of the biological data to "speak" for itself. Generally, acoustics is used as a mean to optimize ground-truth sampling. This will only be reasonable if acoustics are able to capture all the essence of biotope heterogeneity. If this is not the case, special attention should be given when using broad scale methods (acoustic remote sensing) devoted to biotope mapping.
of benthic stereo imagery using
2D and 3D features in an active learning framework
Ariell Friedman, Oscar Pizarro, Stefan B. Williams
Centre for Field Robotics, The University of
Benthic mapping programs that collect optical imagery produce vast, rapidly growing volumes of data. The onerous, time consuming nature of human data interpretation makes detailed classification of complete datasets infeasible. Consequently, automated techniques are required for efficient and effective analysis. Machine learning algorithms are useful for image-based interpretation and can generally be broken into supervised classification and unsupervised clustering techniques. Supervised classification techniques generally still require substantial human input in the form of human-labelled examples. Unsupervised clustering techniques do not require labelled examples for training, however, without a human in the loop, there are no guarantees that the clusters will represent information that is relevant to end users. These unsupervised techniques are useful for providing a good start at examining patterns and structure in the data (see Figure 1), which makes focusing in on subsets very easy. It also provides a sensible initialisation point for an active learning framework, in which computer algorithms can be used to query and learn from a human oracle in a way that maximises the usefulness of the labels that are obtained, while at the same time minimising the amount of human effort (see Figure 2).
The results of machine learning algorithms largely depend on the features that are used to describe the imagery. Features need to be selected that capture some of the semantic content of the images. Most attempts at automated image-based classification use features extracted from monocular images to derive descriptors, which are limited by the 2D nature of the images and lack any notion of scale. Indices such as rugosity, slope and aspect are often used as a proxy for marine biodiversity and can be calculated from the bathymetry. Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) capable of high precision navigation and equipped with stereo cameras can recover bathymetry at fine resolutions over relatively large, contiguous extents of seafloor, beyond diver depths. Our approach uses stereo imagery to interpret the data based on visual appearance and 3D structure at multiple scales to distinguish habitat types.
We present a rationale for a combined unsupervised / active learning framework to analyse large sets of benthic imagery, as well as results from the main components of the system. These include unsupervised clustering based on image appearance and 3D structure features, and an interactive training approach that produces high classification performance with reduced human input.
Clusters from a dense AUV grid (50m×75m, 9,831 stereo image
pairs) completed in Scott Reef off
Figure 2. Active learning framework for minimising human effort, while maximising the usefulness of human labels.
of investigating the bottom of large shallow lagoons for the
needs of habitat classification example of the
Lucjan Gajewski, Benedykt Hac, Kazimeirz Szefler, Paulina Brzeska
During the last sixty years, in the Vistula Lagoon, a number of investigations directed at characterizing the biological environment of this specific water body were carried out. Due to its specifics, especially the small depth, the low transparency of water and the high percentage of bottom covered by mud
deposits, as a rule these investigations were limited to a small part of the Lagoon, or, if they were carried out over the whole water body, they were based on a regular measurement grid, which was not representative of the complexity of the investigated area.
Since the maritime administration is planning to increase the economic use of the Vistula Lagoon, it became necessary to carry out complex environmental investigations, including the classification of the bottom habitats of the Lagoon.
Maritime Institute in
The paper describes the problems encountered during sonar investigations. Problems related to the significant limitation of the horizontal reach of sonar sets resulted mainly from the small average depth of the water body, and therefore to the risk of damage by underwater obstacles, in that fishing nets, the acoustic hardness of the bottom deposits, local thermocline occurrence due to the inflow of fresh water to the lagoon and finally submerged vegetation, which covers about 80 % of the Vistula Lagoon banks.
In effect of the sonar measurements, on the basis of the obtained sonar mosaic, habitat areas were determined according to the EUNIS classification up to level 3, areas of occurrence of submerged and reaching above water surface vegetation, and basing on two types of determinations, a detailed determination of spawning areas in the Vistula Lagoon was achieved.
These investigations will form the basis for the assessment of impact of future infrastructural investments on the ichthyofauna environment of the Vistula Lagoon.
Defining scale and variability in habitat distribution as a function of biological-geological interactions from optical imagery
Scott M. Gallager1, Massimo DiStefano1, Norman Vine2,
Amber York1, Richard Taylor3, Karen Bolles3
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,
3) Arnies Fisheries
Recent advances in continuous optical imaging of the seafloor using high resolution cameras, as in the HabCam system, is allowing acquisition of an unprecedented amount of biological-geological information over a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Image informatics is being used in both human and automated modes to extract data from optical surveys for the description of habitat and community structure. However, the interpretation of biological-geological interactions is strongly scale dependent necessitating scale-sensitive multivariate analyses. An approach to developing a habitat feature set is described by combining geomorphological substrate features extracted from imagery and interpreted by humans (e.g., mud, sand, gravel, cobble, boulder) with features extracted by machine vision (e.g., rugosity, fractal index, surface area) along with bathymetry (e.g., depth, slope) and biological components such as species assemblages. The feature set is then interpreted along a continuum of spatial scales from cms to 100 kms in multivariate space to evaluate scales where gradients from one type of association or habitat transition to another. Boundaries are then established at transitions to demark polygons of similar habitat. The approach is similar to a technique in image processing known as hierarchical segmentation providing statistical rigor to boundary creation. Additional features such as acoustic backscatter intensity or benthic shear stress may be added as availability presents itself. The result is a habitat map defined by associations between elements of the feature set and the spatial scale at which they change. An example data set and analysis is provided from repeated HabCam surveys in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
Process-driven characterization and mapping of sedimentary habitats within the Basque continental shelf (Bay of Biscay)
Galparsoro1, Ángel Borja1,
Vladimir E. Kostylev2,
1) AZTI-Tecnalia/Marine Research Division,
Herrera kaia portualdea z/g. 20110 Pasaia (Gipuzkoa),
2) Geological Survey of
The process-driven benthic habitat mapping approach (Kostylev and Hannah, 2007) is based on the ecological theory that relates species life history traits to the properties of the environment, transforming the maps of the physical environment into a map of benthic habitat types. The habitat template for benthic habitat mapping aggregates the sets of environmental factors into two axes: (i) the Disturbance axis, which reflects the intensity of habitat alteration or destruction; and (ii) the Scope for Growth (SfG) axis, which describes the amount of energy available for growth and reproduction.
It was found a significant correlation between taxon composition and environmental conditions at the stations studied (RELATE; ?= 0.376, P<0.001). The best correlation between environment and taxa was given by a combination of 5 environmental parameters (BIOENV; ?= 0.419 and a significance level of 0.01), which were found to be: mean grain size, sediment resuspension index, annual chlorophyll concentration, annual mean temperature and annual minimum temperature. It was also found that associations between environmental conditions and taxon composition were weaker when environmental variables were considered individually. Sediment resuspension index and mean grain size showed higher correlation (?= 0.340 and ?= 0.331 respectively); meanwhile annual mean temperature, annual chlorophyll concentration and annual minimum temperature showed lower correlation (?= 0.248; ?= 0.174 and ?= 0.157 respectively). According to the process-driven theory, both the mean grain size and the resuspension index were classified as the factor reflecting the Disturbance, meanwhile annual mean chlorophyll concentration, annual mean temperature and annual minimum temperature were as the factor reflecting the Scope for Growth. Then, the environmental variables were transformed into the scope for growth and disturbance axis using linear scaling and equal weights in an additive model.
This method reduces multiple environmental variables to the major selective forces responsible for defining the life history traits of species and as shown in this study - types of benthic communities. The resulting habitat map for the Basque coast shows a continuum of environments where the gradients arise naturally from the data layers. Mapping the combination of SfG and Disturbance allows the estimation of the potential scale of impacts of different types of human activities on seabed habitats, and their recovery capacity. Moreover, the resulting map will be used in the implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive, in relation to the seafloor integrity descriptor.
Kostylev, V. E., and Hannah, C.G., 2007. Process-driven characterization and mapping of seabed habitats. In Mapping the Seafloor for Habitat Characterization, Edited by B.J. Todd and H.G. Greene, Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper 47, pp. 171184.
Predicting the distribution of benthic biotopes by
conditional inference in the Koster Fjord
Genoveva Gonzalez-Mirelis1, Tomas Lundälv2, Mats Lindegarth1
Department of Marine Ecology at Tjärnö,
Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Science,
The designation of the
Spatially-explicit predictive models are widely used for estimating variables such as the presence of a feature of interest in unsurveyed locations, so that full-coverage maps of e.g. various components of biodiversity can be cost-effectively produced. Inevitably though, what is ultimately delineated on the map is dependent on the choice of methods and other parameters. In this paper, we report on the model used in this project and the predictions obtained, while focusing on the importance of quantifying accuracy and understanding error. Given the specific needs that the map product is expected to fulfil, our goal was to achieve maximal agreement between predictions and reality (which comes at the expense of the ability to explain patterns) subject to using methods as automated and repeatable as possible.
The model used was a conditional inference tree ensemble (conditional random forest), a data-driven, machine-learning technique virtually new to the field of ecology. The algorithm outperformed other decision tree-based methods (classification and regression trees, random forests) in terms of sensitivity and specificity.
Model predictions were checked against a custom-built measure of dubiousness, calculated at polygon level. The final models overall prediction error was also examined beyond the simple reporting of its magnitude (which was 28%): incorrectly classified cases were looked into in depth in an effort to further qualify the inadequacy of the predictions. This analysis led to additional insights and increased confidence in the model.
A total area of 456 km2 was modelled. Biotope classes included: deep, hard substrate communities with erect sponges, brachiopods, and tube-dwelling polychaetes (272 km2); hard substrate communities of intermediate depths featuring soft corals and solitary stony corals (110 km2); communities associated with the reef-forming, cold water coral Lophelia pertusa (12 km2); and soft sediment communities, associated with the presence of sea feathers, and the (highly valued) Norway lobster (over 40 km2). A preliminary quantitative assessment of representativeness of the National Park was successfully carried out.
Biological highlights from the
Regional Environmental Characterisation (REC) Programme
Matt Green, Aimee Colcombe, Ross Griffin, Emma Delduca,
Angela de-Burgh Thomas, Jack Pitts, Sara Marzialetti,
Jacqueline Hill, Bryony Pearce
Ecological Surveys Limited, 24a
Since 2003, the Department for Food and
Rural Affairs (Defra) has funded six broad scale marine mapping
projects covering the
Figure 1. The second record of Coracuta
Figure 2. The most northerly record of Crepidula
Figure 3. The most northerly record of Rissoides
Figure 4. Newly discovered Sabellaria
spinulosa reefs in the southern
Figure 5. Black bream nests mapped using side-scan sonar.
Figure 6. Bryozoan found at new depths.
mapping of the shallow inland
1) Tombolo/Center for Habitat Studies, Moss Landing Marine Labs,
Geological Survey of
Extensive mapping using multibeam echosounder (MBES) bathymetry and backscatter data collected at a 200% coverage along with 3.5 kHz subbottom seismic reflection profiles of the Salish Sea in and around the San Juan Archipelago, Washington State, USA and southern Georgia Strait, British Columbia, Canada has taken place for the past 15 years and resulted in the construction of highly detailed and comprehensive potential habitat maps. Fisheries management agencies, regional and local marine resources committees, and the local interested citizenry are using these maps, now being published by the Geological Survey of Canada, to evaluate and manage a variety of ecological resources. Of particular interests are the habitats for commercial and recreational groundfish, such as lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) and rockfish (Sebastes spp.), and forage fish such as Pacific sand lance (PSL, Ammodytes hexapterus). In addition to habitat characterization, we are using the detailed MBES data and seismic reflection profiles to identify and map seafloor geohazards such as active faults and landslides. Methods and results of this mapping exercise will be presented.
*Present Address: Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Biological Station,
Selection of candidate sites for designation
as Marine Protected Areas in coastal waters still involves many
arbitrary choices. Analysis of candidate sites, according to a
combination of geophysical and ecological criteria, can lead to
the recognition of representative coastal areas, and potentially
reduce the arbitrary nature of these decisions. In coastal areas,
estuaries have long been classified according to their
geophysical properties. Bays and coves are at least as diverse in
character, yet existing classifications are dependent largely
upon description of the benthic communities themselves and take
little advantage of existing hydrographic and digital
information. This classification of coastal marine inlet types
designed to represent specific community types including a and
ß-diversity patterns. The classification is based on GIS
analysis of existing digital hydrographic and geophysical data
and was applied to
Annotating optical images from ROVs or drop-frames in
Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems studies
Brigitte Guillaumont1, Cyril Carré1, Inge van den Beld1,
IFREMER DEEP/LEP, B.P.70, 29280
2) Senckenberg am Meer, D-26382 Wilhelmshaven, Germany
The attention to Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VME) in the deep-sea has increased in the last few decades for several reasons, such as fishery and oil exploration activities. Marine Protected Area networks have to be developed and techniques to investigate the seafloor, such as acoustic survey techniques and optical remote sensing, play an important role in this. Image footage from Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) or towed camera is a very good method to analyse and compare abundances and compositions of large epifaunal species in several deep-sea areas. This is particularly well adapted in the case of vulnerable habitats dominated by corals or sponges, as it is less destructive than a trawl sampling. The developing of standardized image annotations becomes an important goal. However, due to availability of historical data, technical reasons or budget limitations, teams are often confronted with the use of various imagery sources and have to develop methodologies for optimizing these data.
Within the European fp7-funded project CoralFISH, IFREMER (France) has developed a program (COVER) which promotes the standardization of annotation but keeps a large degree of flexibility. A methodology has been proposed to CoralFISH partners and improved in cooperation; it is based on common knowledge tables with a hierarchical structure where necessary. These tables have been defined taking existing references such as EUNIS, CMECS, Worms Register into consideration.
Cover is able to visualise and synchronise different types of videos and still images. The snapshot generator allows frame grabs to be made at regular time or distance interval. These frame grabs can be used for statistical analysis. The annotation interface has configurable components linked with the knowledge tables: keyboard shortcuts, buttons, combo lists, and sliders. It is also possible to enter comments. The user can organize items by blocks following thematic annotations like substrate type, benthic habitat/communities, taxa and anthropogenic impacts. This interface can be adapted to the needs of the area, the type and quality of images.
Some features of Cover will be introduced into the existing software Adelie (IFREMER).
Marine Ecosystems of the Bay of Biscay (
Brigitte Guillaumont1, Inge van den Beld1, Jaimie Davies1,
1) IFREMER- Environnement Profond B.P.70, 29280 Plouzané, France
IFREMER- Geosciences Marines,
European and international regulations have been recently reinforced to limit the negative effects of anthropogenic activities on Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs). This has induced raising needs for the development of more detailed habitat classifications, distribution maps and evaluations of the ecological status of these VMEs. The optical remote sensing of the deep seafloor plays an important role in this.
Cold-water coral reefs and deep-sea sponge
grounds are known to occur in the
The first results from image analysis have allowed the identification of various habitats dominated by coral or sponges. Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata compound mixed reefs occurring until 1100m depth in association with a large variety of antipatharian, some gorgonians and hexactinellids sponges. Coral rubble and areas of trawl impacts have also been recognised. The stony coral Enallopsammia rostrata occurs as a dominant species on vertical cliffs around 1500m. Some localised areas of hard bottom substrate are colonised by demosponge beds or by coral gardens.
On the soft sediment, the two main pennatulid habitats are dominated by Kophobelemnon and by Funiculina quadrangularis (in association with burrowing megafauna). Bamboo fields are also well represented on the soft bottom with Acanella arbuscula or others Isididae, some times associated with stalked sponges. The sponge grounds with Pheronema carpenteri are present in various localities.
These results have been compared with the habitat definitions mentioned in regulatory texts, existing classification schemes and scientific publications from others areas along the North East Atlantic.
Substrate classification from marine geological information
Ola Hallberg, Johan Nyberg and Peter Slagbrand
Geological Survey of
The Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU) has developed superficial substrate maps from available marine geological information in Swedish sea areas. The maps show nine different classes of substrates, which are based on the EUNIS-classification scheme. The classes are defined through Factor analyses on 2 900 visual seabed-observations described according to the EUNIS-terminology. The seabed-observations are quite evenly geographically distributed in Swedish sea areas. A direct translation from the geological nomenclature and marine geological map to the EUNIS-classification and superficial substrate map gave best results. The two modelling methods, Generalized Regression Analysis and Spatial Prediction (GRASP) and Classification and regression trees (CART), using the input variables; marine geological map, bathymetry, wave exposure, bottom current and visual observations gave poorer results when validating the produced substrate maps. This may be due to the fact that more errors being introduced by using bathymetry-, wave exposure- and bottom current-data of less good quality and resolution.
In addition, mobility maps have been developed showing the coarsest grain size, according to the EUNIS grain size scale, which erode (become mobile) within different areas due to the effect from wind-induced waves. A comparison between the developed mobility maps and estimates of mobility from 415 visual observations shows a significant relationship, although there are indications that the calculated values sometimes are low. This could be due to the lack of bottom current data and that the calculations are based on average wind conditions.
In conclusion, the method of using direct translations from geological nomenclature and SGU marine geological maps to EUNIS-classification and superficial substrate maps were found to give the best results and are therefore employed here. Substrate maps will continuously be produced in areas SGU surveys in the future. The marine geological maps show the original deposited material and reflect past and present hydrodynamic processes such as bottom currents, wave exposure, sediment-erosion, -transportation and -deposition as well as bathymetry.
GeoHab Atlas of seafloor geomorphic features and benthic habitats
synthesis and lessons learned
Peter T. Harris1, Elaine K. Baker2
Marine and Coastal Environment Group, Geoscience
This paper presents a broad synthesis and overview based on 57 case studies accepted for publication in the GeoHab Atlas of seafloor geomorphic features and benthic habitats (the Atlas). The case studies covered areas of seafloor ranging from 0.15 to over 1 million km2 (average of 26,600 km2) and a broad range of the geomorphic feature types. The mean depths of the study areas ranged from 8 to 2,375 m, with about half of the studies on the shelf (depth <120 m) and half on the slope and at greater depths. Mapping resolution ranged from 0.1 to 170 m (mean of 13 m). There is a relatively equal distribution of studies among the four naturalness categories: near-pristine (n=17), largely unmodified (n = 16), modified (n=13) and extensively modified (n=10). In terms of threats to habitats, most Authors identified fishing (n=46) as the most significant threat, followed by pollution (n=12), oil and gas development (n=7) and aggregate mining (n=7). Anthropogenic climate change was viewed as an immediate threat to benthic habitats by only three authors (n=3).
Water depth was found to be the most useful surrogate for benthic communities in the most studies (n=17), followed by substrate/sediment type (n=14), acoustic backscatter (n=12), wave-current exposure (n=10), grain size (n=10), seabed rugosity (n=9) and BPI/TPI (n=8). Less useful surrogates were water properties (temperature, salinity, DO; n=0) and sediment sorting (n=1). A range of analytical methods were used to identify surrogates, with ARC GIS being by far the most popular method (23 out of 44 studies that specified a methodology).
Of the many purposes for mapping benthic habitats, four stand out as being preeminent: 1) to support government spatial marine planning, management and decision-making; 2) to support and underpin the design of marine protected areas (MPAs); 3) to conduct scientific research programs aimed at generating knowledge of benthic ecosystems and seafloor geology; and 4) to conduct living and non-living seabed resource assessments for economic and management purposes. Out of 57 case studies, habitat mapping was intended to be part of an ongoing monitoring program in 24 cases, whereas the mapping was considered a one-off exercise in 33 cases. However, out of the 33 one-off cases, the Authors considered that their habitat map would form the baseline for monitoring future changes in 24 cases. This suggests that governments and regulators generally view habitat mapping as a useful means of measuring and monitoring change. In terms of the perceived clients and users of habitat maps, most Authors considered marine conservation to be the biggest user (n=45), followed by the fishing industry (n=24), government regulators (n=12), the scientific community (n=9), the tourism industry (n=8), navigation (n=6), other industry (e.g. deep sea minerals, wind farms, etc. n=6), oil and gas industry (n=5) and aggregate mining (n=4). However, the overwhelming majority of habitat surveys were funded by government or government funded agencies/institutions (n=49) with only minor funding from private industry (n=7) or non-government organisations (n=4).
gap analysis (i.e. geomorphic features and habitats not included
in the case studies) illustrates that whereas shelf and slope
habitats were well represented in the case studies, estuarine and
deltaic coastal habitats plus deep ocean (abyssal hadal)
environments were described in only a few case studies. Geographically,
about half of the case studies were from waters around western
Europe whilst the margins of the continents of Africa, Asia and
The use of the Maximum Entropy Model Maxent in
biological assemblage mapping
Kerry L. Howell1, Jaime S. Davies1, Heather Stewart2
The need for comprehensive habitat maps to enable effective management of the marine environment is growing. The use of acoustic survey using multibeam, coupled with biological sampling or ground truthing, provides a means to map the distribution of biological assemblages (biotopes) over wide areas by inferring some relationship between the observed communities and the acoustic signal. Historically, this inference has been made manually using a rule based approach. However, the relationship between biotopes and multibeam data and its derived layers, can be formalised using a modelling approach. We present a method of mapping using biological community analysis coupled with maximum entropy modelling using the freely available software Maxent. Biological community analysis is undertaken on data extracted from video and image ground truthing in order to describe distinct biological assemblages. Video transects are mapped using the newly defined biological assemblages and point shapefiles created for each biotope. Multibeam bathymetry is used to derive layers of slope, rugosity, bathymetric position index, aspect and curvature in ArcGIS 9.3. Multibeam bathymetry, back scatter and video and image ground truthing are interpreted to produce substrate and geomorphology shapefiles in ArcGIS. Shapefiles are converted to rasters and all layers clipped and regridded to be of equal size, grid cell size and grid alignment as required for input into Maxent software. Individual biotope presence data are formatted as csv files for input into Maxent. Models of the distribution of each biotope are produced sequentially and maps of probability of presence throughout the study area are produced. For each biotope probability maps are converted to presence / absence maps using an appropriate threshold. Individual biotope maps are merged and adjusted using expert ecological knowledge to produce a single complete biotope map for the area of interest. The positive and negatives of this approach are discussed.
Explore different approaches of processing
backscatter angular response curves for seabed mapping
Zhi Huang, Justy Siwabessy, Brendan Brooke,
Tara Anderson, Scott Nichol
and Coastal Environmental Group, Geoscience
The aim of the study was to explore
different approaches of feature selection, extraction and
reduction from backscatter angular response curves for a
relatively complex seabed. The study area is located at Point
Cloates along the coast of central
Four approaches of processing the angular response curves have been explored. The first approach used all effective beam angles (4° to 51°) with a manual feature selection method in the modelling process. The second approach used principal component analysis to condense the 48 variables into four (explaining 99% of the data variance). The third approach extracted nine parameters from two domains of the angular response curves including slope, intercept, orthogonal distance and mean. The fourth approach derived continuum-removed angular response curves.
Probability Neural Network was used as the classifier. The classification results show that the continuum removal approach performed the best with an overall accuracy of 73% when classifying the seven seabed classes (Figure 1). Merging the six sediment classes into four improved the performance of all approaches. The best performing approach with five seabed classes is the first approach (80% accuracy). The visual assessment of the prediction maps shows generally similar spatial patterns among these approaches. As expected, complex spatial patterns were predicted at the inner-shelf area where reefs and mounds mixed with different sediment types. In summary, using backscatter angular response curves can satisfactorily classify relatively complex seabed. Different approaches can and should be used to extract the most useful information from angular response curves for the better prediction of seabed types and interpretation of the predictions.
Figure 3: Overall Accuracies of the Seabed Classification
Modeling species distributions in GIS for coastal zone management
AquaBiota Water Research
Marine species distribution modeling
(SDM) has recently became a tool for producing layers for
management purposes, while earlier the method was mainly used in
Presently modeling projects are performed in four more counties, and these projects will be finalized 2013 to 2015. The modeling approach has been extended to include also fish recruitment areas, and distribution of adult fish.
The project was performed by AquaBiota Water Research in cooperation with county administration boards in Östergötland and Västernorrland, Norrköping municipality, Swedish Maritime Administration, and Swedish Geological Survey. Both projects were funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
Geological model as basis for raw material- and habitat mapping,
Jørn B. Jensen, Sara Borre, Jørgen O. Leth,
Zyad Al-Hamdani, Laura G. Addington
the summer of 2010 GEUS carried out, in cooperation with Orbicon
A/S, a combined raw material mapping and habitat mapping program
of a significant portion of the Danish section of the
The mapping procedure comprised a combination of bathymetric single beam echo sounding, side scan sonar seabed mapping and shallow seismic profiling of acoustic units. Ground truthing included vibrocores, grab samples and video collected by Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Substrate type mapping is part of the seabed mapping task because seabed sediments are the habitats of marine benthic biomass. Understanding sediment distribution is important for mapping the distribution of marine life.
The presentation will focus on a geological model as background for evaluation of potential raw material resources in specific stratigraphical units ranging from pre-Weichselian deep channel deposits and Weichselian meltwater deposits to drowned coastal deposits and sand waves.
Besides the potential raw material resources a close relationship is observed between the geological units and the seabed biotopes.
A number of additional parameters (e.g., photic zone depth, salinity, temperature) influence the distribution of habitat types, but the close link between the till deposits on Jyske Rev and the stone reef nature type (Natura 2000 code 1170) is obvious, as well as giant sand ridges and the sand bank nature type (Natura 2000 code 1110). The mapping of the giant sand ridges as sand bank habitat type has been compared with information of distribution of sand eel fishing grounds in the Jyske RevLille Fiske Banke area and a nearly perfect match is found to the distribution of the geological unit giant sand ridges interpreted as sand bank habitat type.
Fine-scale information on submarine moraines
- Airborne LiDAR survey in the Kvarken
Anu Marii Kaskela, Aarno Tapio Kotilainen
Kvarken Archipelago - a UNESCO World
Heritage site - is located in the northern
We have tested airborne laser scanning system (Light Detection and Ranging, LiDAR) in ULTRA project to provide information on bathymetry and seafloor structure from shallow water areas. The method was tested in the Kvarken Archipelago, where the object was to study moraine formations at the seafloor. We have compared LiDAR data with acoustic survey data. BLOM kartta Oy did airborne LiDAR survey in the Kvarken area in the summer of 2009. Acoustic-seismic surveys within the area were carried out in 2007 by Geological Survey of Finland. Here we will discuss the area, where the seismic and LiDAR data overlap.
On the basis of our study, the airborne LiDAR is an effective tool for providing detailed information on the shallow water bathymetry, structure and morphology of seafloor. The used Hawk Eye laser scanning system gathered bathymetry data up to -14 meters deep. The produced topography model shows a series of small, parallel and elongated features at the seafloor, which characterize the whole area.
Finnish Scientific Diving Steering Association
Suomen tutkimussukelluksen ohjausyhdistys ry.,
Ulvilantie 19 bB 50, 00350 Helsinki, Finland
Suomen tutkimussukelluksen ohjausyhdistys
ry. Finnish Scientific Diving Steering Association (FSDSA)
is a special interest group for the professional scientific
divers. FSDSA addresses the matters of health and safety of
scientific divers, and is the issuing authority of European
Scientific Diver (ESD) and Advanced European Scientific Diver
(AESD) qualifications in
FSDSA is a founding member of the European
Scientific Diving Panel (ESDP) of the European Science Fund's
Marine Board (ESF-MB). ESDP aims to advance and promote
scientific diving across
Scientific diving is a valuable and cost-effective tool in underwater research and mapping, which greatly extends the possibilities of ship-based monitoring techniques. Skilled scientific divers deliver data of greater quality than remote methods, reach places not accessible from the surface and have less effect on the fragile surroundings. Scientific diving supports underwater science through efficient and targeted sampling, quantitative survey and observation, in situ measurement, impact studies, ecological analyses, evaluation of new techniques, mapping underwater areas, profiling subtidal geology/geochemistry and accurate deployment/retrieval of underwater apparatus. The divers have proven to be indispensable in research of for example shallow coastal habitat, vertical walls and caves.
Occupational scientific diver training in
For more information contact the president of FSDSA Pirkko Kekäläinen (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit the following websites:
Mapping habitats and macrophyte species on extremely shallow and diverse soft bottoms
Essi Keskinen, Pekka Lehtonen
Natural Heritage Services, PL 81, 90100
In situ data collection is necessary when collecting the first information from a new area. Remote-sensing techniques do not work well underwater when it comes to biological habitat mapping and species composition. Some sections of the Bothnian Bay Archipelago Natura 2000 conservation area (Perämeren saaret natura-alue) have been established well over ten years ago but almost nothing is known of their underwater nature. Basic species composition studies and biological habitat mapping were conducted in two different areas of the conservation area during two consecutive field seasons. Both study areas are shallow land-upheaval islands but the other one is on the outer islands in the open sea (Krunnit conservation area) and the other one near the mainland (Kraaseli area). Salinity is between 1-2 per mil. Vascular plant vegetation does not reach deeper than about 4-5 m in these areas because of the tannic acid that dyes the water dark brown. This means that most of the densest vegetation lies in the very shallow water depth, mainly between 0.1 m 1 m.
Mapping was done with a drop-down video camera and an aquascope. Some of the areas were too shallow for boats and scuba diving but both the biodiversity and the number of threatened directive species were very high on these areas. Higher species diversity and more biomass were found in the sheltered areas near the mainland islands and the species composition was slightly different between the two study sites. Also the Habitats Directive (Annex I) habitats can be derived from this data set. This is important for the management purposes.
Time consuming and expensive in situ habitat and species mapping are the only way to start mapping a new underwater area, especially a shallow one, if the purpose is to reveal the species composition. Remote-sensing techniques and modeling can be used on larger scale studies and maybe even on some biological habitats studies, but the only way to study the distribution and the abundance of certain important species is to go to the place and see for yourself.
Geomorphological map is base of study of
distribution in Troms III Area, the
Dubrava V. Kirievskaya
Bathymetrical and geo-morphological maps of the sea bottom can be used while studying bottom deposits and communities of benthic organisms. They help to determine the current condition of the sea bottom, to outline the major "geomorphological traps", to reveal a typical litho-dynamic conditions and paths of sediments flows. They are a necessary basis for forecasting environmental changes under the conditions of a changing climate.
At the Barents Sea, I collected samples of
surface sediments in cruise during the period from 24th
July until 15th August 2010, on the board of research
vessel «G.O. Sars», the Institute of Marine Research, Norway
(MAREANO project), in different parts of the Barents Sea on
depths from 200 to
The bottom sediments and living organisms inhabiting them (benthos) play an important indicative role while estimating the condition of marine ecosystems. Bottom sediments are capable of accumulating and storing the information on the status and change of geochemical, dynamic, climatic, neo-tectonic environmental conditions, the processes of mass transferring, including those caused by man-caused impact. Benthos is stable over time, characterizes local situation in the area; it is capable of representing the changes of an ecosystem retrospectively.
The seas studied by us differ in many ways: in the isolation degree, in the features of hydrological mode, in various oceanic masses, and also in level of anthropogenic impact. However, basic processes in bottom sediments are universal and, hence, during their research we can trace, first, various natural and anthropogenic factors, and secondly, to make the forecasts of changes in the ecological conditions of marine ecosystems.
Due to increasing pressures on marine ecosystems benthic communities are changing (size, density, changes in species, etc) as well as bottom sediments (changes in grain size, mineralogical and chemical composition.
In this project in the process of studying benthos we determine the following characteristics: biomass, numbers, biodiversity as well as spatial distribution of benthic communities (biocenoses), depending on the geomorphological characteristics of the seabed. Research of these marine ecosystem components is a tool for creating the Integrated Management Plan of the seas.
Ferromanganese concretion fields
unknown habitat in the
Aarno Tapio Kotilainen, Anu Marii Kaskela
(FeMn) deposits are found at the seafloor in the Atlantic Ocean,
the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean, as well as in the
show the results of the
In the AS, a total of 32 sites were sampled
from water depths between 9 and 83 meters, and in the GoF, 31
sites were sampled from water depths between 9 and 61 m.
Different type of FeMn concretions (e.g. spherical,
discoidal and plates) were found at the seafloor of the water
depths of 11-58 m in the AS, and 9-61 m in the GoF (Fig. 1).
Silty clayey (glacial and post glacial clay) seafloor was fully
or partly covered with 1-3 cm thick FeMn plates in the water
depths of 10-60 m in the AS and 40-60 m. Areal coverage of the
FeMn plate rich seafloor is ~41% and ~9% in the AS and GoF study
areas, respectively. These FeMn concretion fields provide hard
substrate for the seafloor fauna and flora, perhaps comparable to
reef. This habitat is poorly known and studied in the
1. Depth distribution of all study sites (left), sites where FeMn
concretions were found (middle), and sites covered with FeMn
plates (right). Blue bars indicate the Archipelago Sea (AS) and
red bars the
Mapping of seabed landscapes of Polish EEZ
First step for habitat classification
The Polish Maritime Areas (PMA) are
generally shallow, and depths in excess of
At the third level of the EUNIS habitat classification system, which is based on sediment description, five habitats in PMA are distinguished: A.5.1, A.5.2, A.5.3, A.5.4 and X.32.
A.5.1 coarse sediments (gravel and coarse sand), which comprise a small surface area throughout the coastal zone, and are also found on Slupsk Bank and to the east of it, Stilo Bank and on the shallow most part of Southern Middle Bank.
sand is distributed in a wide strip from the
west that encompasses the
Mud comprising fine material beneath a grain size of
0.063 mm. Within Polish EEZ, these are deposited in the southern
Mixed sediments comprising sand, mud and gravel. These
are noted on the seabed elevation (troughs) between
X.32 Mosaic sae bed and locally hard bottoms includes areas comprising cobbles and boulders and associated with patches of sand and gravel, and occasionally outcrops of till or clay. This type of habitat occurs in the near-shore zone close to cliffs and in the northern part of the Slupsk Bank and its extension to the east.
Pattern analysis of natural and artificial hard bottom substrata in the Polish Marine Area (PMA)
Centre, University of Gdansk, ul. Bazynskiego 4,
The aim of the research is to identify
various components of spatial point patterns
(e.g., departure from randomness, scale and strength of the
pattern) by using real data sets of bottom object occurrences.
A range of methods, including both first order tests
(nearest neighbour index, Diggles G and F functions) and
second order tests (Ripleys K-function, L and neighbourhood
density functions) are applied. In order to combine data
(geographic coordinates of hard bottom substrata of all kinds and
sizes, rocks and stones, wrecks and wreckage ground, ammunition,
obstructions, and others) gleaned from different sources, data
pre-processing is required. Supervised data generalisation is
used to overcome the problem of non-uniform data coverage as well
as data repetition. Confirmed duplications of object positions
are excluded. Spatial statistics are calculated for two sets of
data, basic and extended, including 4943 and 6122 objects
respectively. While the event distribution in the basic set is
generally homogeneous over the PMA, the extended set is
characterised by much higher data concentration in the vicinity
of Polish major harbour approaches of
Pasi Laihonen, Kirsi Kostamo
Finnish Environment Institute, 00251 Helsinki, Finland
FINMARINET, Inventories and planning for the marine Natura 2000 network in Finland, a four-year research project launched in 2009, is financed by the European Unions LIFE+ programme and it forms a part of the Finnish Inventory Programme for the Underwater Marine Environment (VELMU). The project collects information to be utilised in nature conservation and marine spatial planning. In the project, seabed topography (surface features and depth contours), structure and biota is mapped, alongside with the occurrence of underwater habitats. Some underwater habitats, including reefs and sandbanks, are of particular interest of also the European Union Habitats Directive.
In the FINMARINET research areas, the geological mapping of seabed topography and substrate is carried out alongside the biological surveys of habitat types and their flora and fauna. Mapping methods include underwater video recordings, SCUBA diving, acoustic survey methods and sampling of the seabed biota. Already existing data is combined with data gathered during the project, and utilised in the modelling of underwater habitat and species distribution.
In deeper offshore areas, habitat surveys are based on the video recordings of the sea floor, utilising a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) that is steered from a survey vessel. In shallower areas, data is produced on the bottom characteristics and species occurrence utilising diving and underwater video recording from small boats. The bottom sampling of biota also forms a vital element of research activity within the project. By using state of the art satellite based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methods and statistical modelling the gathered material is combined with existing data on the physical characteristics of the target areas. In this way, information on species distribution and their habitats can be obtained even in areas where no inventories have been conducted.
In FINMARINET, underwater mapping is being performed in and around seven marine Natura 2000 sites along the entire Finnish coastline. The project is coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), with four associated beneficiaries: the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Services, Åbo Akademi University and the University of Turku.
substrate classification of
from textural image analysis of backscatter data
1) National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA),
A comprehensive EM300 (32 kHz) multibeam survey of Cook Strait, New Zealand (~8500 km2) is used to generate a regional substrate classification map over a wide range of water depths, seafloor substrates and geological landforms using an automated mapping method based on the textural image analysis of backscatter data. We used the SonarScope® software 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. This is required in order to obtain an image with a strongly attenuated specular reflection. Image segmentation of the merged backscatter and bathymetry layer is constrained using shape, compactness, and texture measures. The number of classes and their spatial distribution are statistically identified by employing an unsupervised fuzzy c-means (FCM) clustering algorithm to sediment samples, independent of the backscatter data. Classification is achieved from the overlay of the FCM result onto a segmented image and attributing segments with the FCM class.
Four classes are identified and uncertainty in class attribution is quantified by a confusion index layer. Validation of the classification map is done by comparing the results with the sediment and structural maps. The calibrated Backscattering Strength (BS) is used to provide information on the physical characteristics of the seafloor and emphasise acoustic class separation, as it is a good indicator of the sediment grain size and provide a first-order interpretation of the substrate composition.
The method combines multibeam data with
physical seabed data in a complementary analysis to seeking
correlations between datasets using object-based image analysis
and unsupervised classification. Texture within these identified
classes is examined for correlation with typical backscatter
angular responses for mud, sand and gravel. The results show a
first order correlation between each of the classes and both the
sedimentary properties and the geomorphological map. This
quantitative first order correlation between the seabed substrate
and the MBES data is a first for
The method acknowledges the application of
imprecise and/or uncertain data through the integration of
different approaches: analytical modelling (fuzzy
classification), spectral classification (segmentation), and
spatial analysis (boundaries). The next logical step in this
methodology is to combine physical and biological data collected
José Maria Landim Dominguez
GEO-UFBA - Rua Barão de Jeremoabo, s/n, Campus Universitário de Ondina,
continental shelf off eastern
influx. Shelf width can be as narrow as 5 km and shelf break is located between the 4550 m depth. This paper presents an integration of sediment texture and composition, bathymetric and sonographic (sub-bottom and side-scan) data compiled during the last five years (Figure 1). This dataset allowed us for the first time to adequately evaluate the seascapes present at this region.
Seascape types and spatial distribution in the study area is strongly controlled by the long-term subaerial exposure of the entire shelf during most of the Quaternary, since shelf break is located at just 4550 m. This favored extensive fluvial incision of the shelf surface with rivers emptying in the upper slope, directly connected to submarine valleys and canyon. When the shelf was flooded during high-stands sedimentation resumed. As a result, the outer shelf (2050 m depth) is characterized by a gravelly thin cover of rhodoalgal sediments (encrusting coralline algae with subordinate amounts of foraminifera and molluscs) on a hard (karstic) substrate. The inner shelf (<20 m) is dominated by terrigenous sandy sediments. Mud accumulation is controlled by the distribution of topographic lows on the shelf, which coincide with major incised valleys and canyon heads.
This spatially comprehensive dataset when integrated to benthic data, fisheries and other human activities (e.g. oil exploration, effluent disposal) will improve surrogacy and environmental management. In fact the outer shelf with the
rhodalgal sediment cover, hard bottoms and canyon-controlled upwellings is already extensively exploited for its demersal resources by the local fisheries.
Figure 1. Percent of sand, mud and bioclasts of surficial shelf sediments.
mapping and ground truthing analysis used for the modelling of
benthic habitats in the Kattegat,
Jørgen O. Leth1, Zyad Al-Hamdani1, Karsten Dahl2, Dennis Anthony3
1) Geological Survey of
2) National Environmental Research
3) The Danish Maritime Safety
Kattegat is located in the transition zone between the Baltic Sea
Multibeam sonar, digital sidescan sonar and seismic sub-bottom profiler combined with ground truthing have been used to construct detailed images of the sea floor and the shallow geology within the study area. The resulting maps constitute the geological basis for the preparation of habitat maps and modelling of hard bottom habitats.
The present knowledge of the biological components inhabiting the geological features of the seabed in open waters is derived from small spots with a scale ranging from a core samplers to a relatively short transects of diver investigation or video inspection. Each of those small bits of information is often subjected to different but important structuring factors operating both on spatial scales from centimetres to many kilometres as well as in time varying from hours (storm events) to years. This study identifies key biological habitat elements suitable to describe reef habitats in a robust manner in a given space and time. The concept underlying this approach is that certain habitat characteristics are needed to host specific species, assemblages or communities.
The results of the acoustic mapping have been combined with two different predictive models describing important key biological elements characterizing hard bottom habitats and presented on GIS maps. Habitat maps combining important geological and biological features as demonstrated in the present case study will be a very valuable and operational tool for large scale spatial planning and management of offshore resources.
1. The study area in the Kattegat,
Geo-acoustic characterization and habitat distribution in the Chella Bank
(eastern Alboran Sea - SW Mediterranean)
C. Lo Iacono1, E. Gràcia1, R. Bartolomé1, X. Monteys2,
J.J. Dañobeitia1, J. Acosta3
Marine Technology Unit UTM CSIC,
Geologic Survey of
Spanish Oceanographic Centre - IEO,
focuses on the characterization of morphostructures and related
benthic habitats detected and mapped in the Chella Bank, also
referred as Seco de los Olivos, a seamount located
offshore the coast of Almería, in the
An integrated biological-geological approach for the management of renewable marine resources: the COMSOM Project
Lo Iacono1 , Silvia de Juan2,
Marine Technology Unit, UTM-CSIC,
Marine Sciences Institute, ICM-CSIC,
exploitation of renewable marine resources by bottom trawling is
one of the major sources of damage to benthic communities and
habitats. Thus, there is an urgent need for developing the
ecosystem indicators of disturbance based on robust data to
achieve efficient fishery management strategies and minimise
fishing impact on ecosystems. A comprehensive biological and
geo-acoustical dataset is essential to relate potential changes
in the structure and composition of benthic communities and the
degree of habitat disturbance to gradients of fishing effort. In
the context of COMSOM Project (CTM2008-04617 and
CTM2008-04206-E), aiming to define new strategies for the
management of fishery resources, we adopted an integrated
biological and geological approach in the study of trawling
disturbance in the
From research to reality: Geocoders past, present, and future
IVS 3D, Banbury,
2) Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping,
Geocoder was introduced several years ago as a detailed backscatter processing application. As a product of research from the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping (CCOM), many of the participants in CCOMs Industrial Associates program released commercial implementations of the research code within a short time. Research code is not always commercially viable, however, and many commercial vendors are now dealing with some of the same limitations of the original code base. While new processing techniques can move an industry forward, building a complete application that exploits new algorithms and is both usable and useful is no simple feat.
This paper describes a re-implementation of the capabilities of the Geocoder algorithm core, in an application toolbox that is designed from the ground up to be flexible, modular, and user configurable. The design distils out Geocoders core algorithm components and marries them with a modern commercially tested architecture that covers the efficient IO as well as full exploitation of multi-core and multi-CPU environments. This new scheme has the potential to change the way that further research is done by providing a user-controlled plug-in architectural framework that can be used to extend (or replace) the capabilities of Geocoder.
Comparing towed and baited underwater video techniques
for assessing temperate marine fishes
Jacquomo Monk1, Daniel Ierodiaconou1, Vincent L. Versace2,
Alex Rattray1, Frank Stagnitti3, Euan Harvey4
1) School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, P.O. Box 423, Warrnambool, Victoria 3280, Australia
The UWA Oceans Institute (M470) and
Accurate estimates of fish species occurrence are important to any species assessments and distribution model. With increasing emphasis on non-destructive sampling, underwater video techniques are commonly used without a thorough understanding of their advantages and disadvantages. This study compared data collected from baited remote underwater stereo-video systems (stereo BRUVS) and towed-video systems to determine; (1) the differences between these video techniques in terms of fish assemblages, functional groups (i.e. pelagic carnivore, epibenthic carnivore/omnivore or herbivore) and observability (i.e. conspicuous or cryptic), and (2) what impact do these two techniques have on the interpretation of spatially-explicit, predictive models. We found stereo BRUVS and towed-video techniques recorded very different assemblages, functional groups and observability categories across structurally complex benthic biological habitats (i.e. macroalgae dominated habitats). However, as the habitat complexity became less (e.g. seagrass and areas with no visible macro-biota) both techniques appeared to provide similar fish assemblage information. We also found considerable differences in the predicted extents of habitat suitability between the two video techniques.
acoustic seabed characterization for Nephrops
habitat and other environmental studies in the Porcupine Bank,
Xavier Monteys1, Colm Lordan2, Ronan OToole1
1) Geological Survey of
2) Irish Marine Institute,
Shallow geophysical data acquired during the
Irish National Seabed Survey (2000-2002; www.infomar.ie) have
been used in this study to characterise over 50,000 km² of the
Porcupine Banks seafloor (NE Atlantic, Ireland). Multibeam
backscatter parameters have been analysed with the aid of
existing ground-truthing to delineate large-scale geological
boundaries from the top of the Bank (150 m) to the 500 m
isobaths. In general, the multibeam backscatter response within
the study area can be grouped in two large regions: high
amplitude levels on the Banks Ridge (150 m to 200 m water
depth) are associated to hard substrate and gravel dominated
facies; and low backscatter levels between 200-500 m are
associated to a smooth gradient of fine-grained sediments. Part
of this area, in the southern slopes between 320m and 550m,
constitutes suitable mud habitat for the burrowing decapod Nephrops
Figure 1. Porcupine Bank seabed geology map (GSI, 2010). Nephrops distribution on the southern part largely coinciding with the mud dominated facies (white). Black dots depicting ground-truthing sites.
degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, I-20126 Milan,
A quantitative study by means of multivariate analysis was carried out on molluscs yielded by 8 small cores, up to 40cm long, recovered in 2010 (CoralFISH EU-FP7 Project) along the Apulian margin off Santa Maria di Leuca (S Italy), 525 to 784m depth. The mainly silty seafloor of this area is characterized by mound-like and elongated topographic features (50-300m wide and up to 25m high) whose upper part is generally colonized by cold-water coral communities.
Shells were picked from 31 core levels and then identified - when possible - to species, revealing a diverse fauna including 79 benthic taxa (37 Bivalvia, 3 Scaphopoda, 39 Gastropoda) out of 112 recognized in the area by sorting 24 contextually recovered box-corer samples. The dominant taxon is the small infaunal bivalve Kelliella miliaris; among other relevant elements, Abra longicallus, Notolimea crassa and Alvania cimicoides are also mud-related, while Heteranomia squamula, Delectopecten vitreus, Asperarca nodulosa and Bathyarca pectunculoides thrive on hard substrates.
The multivariate analysis (clustering, MDS) was conducted on a 79 species x 29 samples abundance matrix, defining three groups (A to C); they were analyzed in terms of the dominance and similarity contributions of species and proved to belong to different habitats as regards bottom type and relationships with corals. A and B are quite homogeneous; the former is restricted to coral mound tops and appears to be related to coral branches or rubble, while the latter is found both in inter-mound areas and on the mound upper flanks and links to a frankly muddy seafloor.
Conversely, group C is heterogeneous and interpreted as transitional; the MDS dispersion of its levels led to perform a second step analysis on a reduced matrix. This revealed at least three different transitional stages (C2 to C4) between coral rubble and mud habitats. C3, found at or near mound tops just below mud-related faunas, appears closer to group A; C4, mostly represented at the NE base of mounds, is more similar to B; C2 occurs quite randomly and includes a mixed fauna.
The mollusc groups and stages studied herein match quite well with both macrohabitats and thanatofacies recognized in the area by means of bottom samples and submarine video surveys (APLABES Project, HERMES Project).
Modelling the potential impact on local fish stocks and
habitat use by post-breeding aggregations of foraging
Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax c. sinensis)
Mikael v. Numers1, Mikael Kilpi2, Aleksi Lehikoinen3,
Lasse Kurvinen2, Aatu Vattulainen4
The Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax c. sinensis) is a large-sized fish eating bird, breeding in dense colonies. The Finnish breeding population was established in 1996, and since then the numbers have grown to c. 16 000 pairs. Following the increase, the species has gained the status of being a problem for local, small-scale fisheries. However, the body of published information on the use of different fish species, and the potential of local cormorants to affect fish stocks on a regional level, are still poorly understood. In particular, as Cormorants are present in Finnish coastal waters for an extended period prior- and post-breeding, and dietary analyses have been done in breeding colonies, there is a need to address issues of total potential fish consumption. This need is clearly coupled with a need to estimate the extent of foraging areas.
We observed feeding flocks of Cormorants off
We used the presence-only modelling method Maxent to model the potential feeding areas of the cormorant in a c. 400 km2 water area around the Hanko peninsula. The models are based on the presence records of feeding cormorant flocks (2006: 63, 2007: 31, 2008: 25) from the three years (model learn sets). We used five predictor rasters for the models (resolution 25x25 m): depth, slope, exposure, distance to sandy substrate and distance to gravelly substrate. We run Maxent with default settings for each year, using the other two years as test sets.
The models for all 3 years are reliable according to the AUC values, which ranged between 0.88 and 0.93 for the test sets. As the models preformed similarly, we chose the model for 2007 for further study. The variable contributions were: distance to gravel (41%), exposure (30.1%), distance to sand (19%), depth (5.5%) and slope (4.4%). We divided the Maxent probability raster into 3 classes: 0-20% probability (unsuitable feeding areas), 20-50% (marginal feeding areas) and > 50% (main feeding areas). The total extent of the main feeding areas is 27 km2 (6.1% of the total area). Thus, Cormorants use a fairly small area (of the total available) for foraging.
Using underwater video for quantitative coverage assessments:
what is the influence of a human error?
Sergej Olenin, Aleksej akov, Darius Daunys,
Martynas Bucas, Andrius iaulys
Coastal Research and Planning
Coverage estimation is one of the most common tasks in underwater video analysis. In spite of emerging automatic image analysis techniques, the manual (visual) treatment of video data remains a routine approach in the treatment of underwater video material. That makes inevitable a certain level of subjectiveness (uncertainty) which may affect the accuracy of the results, especially if video material is being treated by different operators.
In our studies, we are using a simple mechanistic approach to analyze underwater video, which helps to reduce the influence of human error. A video sequence is divided into manageable (e.g. 90 sec) sections, each being considered as a separate/independent sample. The time interval of ca. 90 sec is chosen based on the theoretical knowledge of human ability to maintain focused attention while estimating visual features and our own experience in underwater video analysis since early 1990s. A sample is further subdivided into 3 equal sub-samples (ca. 30 sec); the coverage of a feature (e.g. bottom sediment, algae or animal colonies) is estimated for each subsample and then calculated as a mean for the entire sample. Such division of a sample into 3 sub-samples helps to level the possible errors of visual analysis.
To evaluate the robustness of the approach we tested it on a group of Biology/Ecology Master students who had no previous experience in underwater video analysis. The paper examines the level of uncertainty while estimating the coverage of various features by different operators and discusses the ways to minimize the subjectiveness.
Ecological Gymnastics - Combining a top-down and
bottom-up approach to biotope modelling
Bryony Pearce1*, Caroline Chambers1, Jacqueline Hill1,
Marine Ecological Surveys Limited,
British Geological Survey,
A Regional Environmental Characterisation (REC) survey of the Outer Humber region was commissioned by the British Government in 2008, through the Marine Environmental Protection Fund (MEPF). The primary objective of this survey was to produce a broad scale characterisation of seabed habitats, to facilitate the development of an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and provide a broader spatial context to development specific Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). It is anticipated that this broad-scale characterisation will also be used in future marine planning.
Previous biotope mapping efforts on this scale have utilised either a top-down approach to biotope modelling, adhering strictly to the hierarchical classification scheme proposed by EUNIS or have employed a bottom-up approach whereby modelling is driven by the recorded distribution of biological communities. Here we present an alternative whereby the advantages of both methods are combined to produce an accurate and comprehensive biotope model. The combined biotope model was constructed using some of the most up-to-date environmental data and animal-sediment relationships derived from statistical analyses and expert judgement. The model predicted a total of 26 biotopes (equivalent to EUNIS Level 5) and reveals a strong longitudinal gradient in the marine fauna which is correlated with a gradient in sediment particle size distribution.
Better benthic monitoring through machines: Robotics and machine learning supporting repeatable surveys and analysis
Oscar Pizarro, Stefan B. Williams, Michael Jakuba, Daniel Steinberg,
Ariell Friedman, and Matthew Johnson-Roberson
Centre for Field Robotics,
covers the relevant capabilities of the AUV facility, the design
of the IMOS benthic sampling program, and preliminary results
from the 2010 surveys around
Proposed AUV Benthic reference sites. Most have been visited by
the end of 2010. Inset: AUV recovery in
MeshAtlantic: mapping Atlantic area seabed habitats for
the better marine management
Jacques Populus1, Fergal McGrath2, Fernando Tempera3,
Ibon Galparsoro4, Jorge Gonçalves5, José Luís Sanz6,
Pascale Fossecave7, Rosa Freitas8, Victor Henriques9
Integrating time-series hydroacoustics and video observations
for detecting changes in benthic habitats
Alex Rattray, Daniel Ierodiaconou, Jacquomo Monk,
Laurie Laurenson, Gerry Quinn
Deakin University, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, P.O. Box 423, Warrnambool 3280, Victoria, Australia
The ability to quantify change in marine benthic habitats must be considered a key goal of marine habitat mapping activities. Changes in distribution of distinct suites of benthic biological species may occur as a result of natural or human induced processes and these processes may operate at a range of temporal and spatial scales. It is important to understand natural small scale inter-annual patterns of change in order to separate these signals from potential patterns of longer term change. Work to describe these processes of change from an acoustic remote sensing stand point has thus far been limited due to the relatively recent availability of full coverage swath acoustic datasets and cost pressures associated with multiple surveys of the same area. This paper describes the use of landscape transition analysis as a means to differentiate seemingly random patterns of habitat change from systematic signals of habitat transition at a shallow (10-50 m depth) 18 km2 study area on the temperate Australian continental shelf between the years 2006 and 2007. Supervised classifications for each year were accomplished using independently collected high resolution (3m cell-size) multibeam echosounder (MBES) and video-derived reference data. Of the 4 representative biotic classes considered, signals of directional systematic changes were observed to occur between a shallow kelp dominated class, a deep sessile invertebrate dominated class and a mixed class of kelp and sessile invertebrates. These signals of change are interpreted as inter- annual variation in the density and depth related extent of canopy forming kelp species at the site, a phenomenon reported in smaller scale temporal studies of the same species. The methods applied in this study provide a detailed analysis of the various components of the traditional change detection cross tabulation matrix allowing identification of the strongest signals of systematic habitat transitions across broad geographical regions. Identifying clear patterns of habitat change is an important first step in linking these patterns to the processes that drive them.
Development and application of broad scale
habitat maps in European waters
Johnny Reker¹, Zyad Al-Hamdani², Sabrina Agnesi³
Danish Nature Agency, Haraldsgade 53, 2100
The Geological Survey of
1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
3) ISPRA, via di Casalotti 300, Rome 00166, ITALY
EUSeaMap was a two-year EU project
funded by DG-MARE as part of the preparatory actions for the
European Marine Observation Data Network (EMODNET). One of the
project aims is to produce a broad scale habitat maps for the
Baltic, the Celtic and the
Full coverage mapping and ground truthing is both time consuming and very costly, therefore using the available datasets with improved methodology and GIS technique for producing the broad-scale habitat maps is highly favourable. The produced digital map is available at www.jncc.gov.uk/EUSeaMap to stakeholders to download and the data will be available for the public.
Examples of the
potential use of EUSeaMap broad-scale habitat maps for the
Baltic, North and the west
Figure 2. Baltic
Sea habitat map, without the
Modelling and mapping seabed biotopes in the southern Irish Sea
Project Officer, Countryside Council for
Seabed habitat maps have a variety of uses
in marine management and conservation. However, to date, fully
ground truthed seabed mapping surveys have only been carried out
in a limited number of areas, due in part to the expense of
running these types of surveys. In order to address the
information gaps in the short term the HABMAP (HABitat MAPping
for conservation and management of the southern Irish Sea)
project was set up to develop a predictive modelling tool that
would enable the distribution of benthic biotopes to be mapped in
areas of the southern Irish Sea where survey data is absent. The
project was initially part funded through the INTERREG IIIa
programme and was a collaborative venture between organisations
The project collated physical and biological datasets in a GIS, and used these to develop a model to predict biological community type. Maps were produced for individual biotopes, and a confidence assessment method was developed to highlight areas where predicted distributions were likely to be more or less accurate. The biotope maps were then combined in to a single layer within a GIS this covered the full extent of the study area. Any overlapping biotope distributions were ranked according to their confidence values, so that the most likely biotope to be found in each area was shown visually on the final map. Survey data (multibeam echosounder bathymetry plus ground-truthing) was collected as part of the HABMAP project to help validate the modelled outputs.
First results of marine habitat mapping of the
Russian part of the
Ryabchuk1, Elena Ezhova2,
Vadim Sivkov2, Dmitry Dorokhov2,
1) A.P. Karpinsky Russian Geological Research Institute (VSEGEI), Sredny pr. 74,
2) P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Atlantic Branch (ABIORAS), Mira pr. 1,
the past, geological and geomorphic study and mapping, as well as
biological research, were undertaken both in the south-eastern
Baltic and the eastern
Russian sector of the south-eastern Baltic Sea includes 11,633 km2
within part of the
the eastern Gulf of Finland the first attempt at marine habitat
mapping was done for two shallow water areas part of the
northern near-shore zone of Kurortny District and an area within
Nordic network for marine inventories and modeling
Sonja Salovius-Laurén, Henna Rinne, Johanna Mattila
and Marine Biology,
Artillerig. 6, FIN-20520 Turku/Åbo, Finland
Marine inventories and habitat mapping of
sea areas have taken place in the
Within our Nordic network we bring together Nordic (Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish), Estonian and Lithuanian expertise to discuss progress and eventual drawbacks in marine inventory work and spatial modeling. The aim is to learn together by arranging work shops, PhD-courses, student exchange between laboratories and by distributing information electronically.
Our Nordic Network for Marine Inventories and Modeling (http://nordforskmimo.webs.com/) is funded for three years (Sept 2009- Sept 2012) by NordForsk.
distribution on the
Elisabet Sañé1, Daniela Basso2, Francesco L. Chiocci3,
Nadia Abdelahad4, Chiara Altobelli3, Eleonora Martorelli3
1) Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (IC-CSIC), Paseo Marítimo de la Barceloneta 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
2) Dip.to Sc. Geologiche e Geotecnologie, Univ. Milano-Bicocca,
Piazza della Scienza 4, Milan, Italy
Dip.to Sc. Della Terra, Univ. Di Roma
Dip.to di Biol. Vegetale, Univ. di Roma
rhodolith distribution along the continental shelf of the
most abundant morphological groups were prâlines (50 % of the
specimens) and unattached branches (41 % of the specimens);
boxwork rhodoliths were only 9 % of the specimens. In
the study area prâlines and unattached branches were registered
in shallower water (40-
Catching the moment: data collection, modeling and mapping of
spawning grounds at the exposed
Aleksej akov, Darius Daunys, Martynas Bucas,
Andrius iaulys, Sergej Olenin
Research and Planning Institute,
The spawning period of the Baltic herring Clupea
harengus membrans, which is commercially important fish
species in the
Collected data revealed that spawning takes place not only at stones covered by the Furcellaria, but also at another red alga Polysiphonia and even at bare stony substrate. Moreover, the presence of the Furcellaria does not guarantee presence of the spawning grounds. However, there are some indications that substrate type plays significant role in the eggs survivability during nursing period. The depth is an important factor and varies from 4 to 10 meters. Spawning grounds are extremely patchy (the occurrence of herring eggs changes several times in just a few hundred meters), but it seems that general pattern remains during different seasons. Apart from substrate and depth bottom morphological features could be one of the main factors determining selection of particular spawning grounds by herring.
Bayesian probability based Maximum Entropy model was used to predict potential spawning grounds due to great patchiness of spawning grounds and constrains in data collection in situ. The resulted probability map of herring spawning grounds distribution in Lithuanian coastal waters was in a good correlation with the in situ observations.
Multi-scale mapping of cold-water coral
habitats on the Ionian margin (
Alessandra Savini1, Agostina Vertino1, Benoit Loubrieu2, Fabio Marchese1, Cesare Corselli1, Andre Freiwald3, Jozee Sarrazin2, Marco Taviani4
1) Università di Milano-Bicocca, Dip. Scienze Geologiche e Geotecnologie,
20126 Milan, Italy
2) IFREMER, Département Etude des ecosystemes profonds, Plouzané, France
3) Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Department of Marine Science,
4) CNR, ISMAR, Bologna, Italy
The present work reports the main results
obtained from acoustic investigations carried out at different
spatial scales within the Mediterranean Santa Maria di Leuca
(SML) Cold-Water Coral (CWC) province (south eastern
The SML coral area, over 800 km2
in extension, is located along the Apulian continental slope
between 400 and
Three different scales of data sets are
presented and discussed: (1) a small scale morphobathymetric map
(1/1000000) that resolves the regional geomorphology of the
Apulian plateau; (2) a detailed medium scale morphobathymetric
map (1/40000) obtained from multibeam data acquisition and (3)
large scale morphobathymetric and backscattering maps (1/1000)
obtained at different representative sites, where video-data,
micro-bathymetry (by ROV-based multibeam surveys) and/or high
resolution side scan sonar mosaics have been collected. The small
scale map (provided from the Gebco Digital Atlas) shows that the
SML CWC province is located along the upper slope of the gently
south-eastward dipping Apulian continental margin and that the
large-scale morphology of the area is affected by a strong
tectonic control. The multibeam data set was used to produce a
medium scale morphobathymetric map (from DTM at 40 m grid size),
in which several geomorphic processes are recognized (i.e.: broad
slope erosion, sediment sliding, block tilting and collapse and
downslope mass movements) superimposed on the regional
large-scale morphology. Video investigation and sediment samples
documented CWCs occurrences along a bathymetric gradient varying
between 500 and
The role of geomorphology in determining the occurrence of CWC habitats on the northern Ionian margin is investigated.
Seabed mapping in a tropical shelf: The case study of macrohabitats in the Abrolhos Bank, Brazil
Nelio Augusto Secchin¹, Alex Cardoso Bastos¹, Rodrigo L. Moura3,
Gilberto M. Amado Filho2, Paulo Y. Sumida4, Arthur Z. Guth4,
Ronaldo B. Francini-Filho5, Fabiano L. Thompson6
1) Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES), Vitória-ES, Brasil
2) Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, Rua Pacheco Leão 915, 22460-030 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3) Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Rodovia Ilhéus-Itabuna km 16, 45650-000, Ilhéus, BA, Brazil
4) Instituto Oceanográfico, Universidade de São Paulo, Praça do Oceanográfico 191, 05508-120 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
5) Centro de Ciências Aplicadas e Educação,Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Rua da Mangueira s/n, 58297-000, Rio Tinto, PB, Brazil
6) Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Av. Carlos Chagas Filho 373, 21941-902 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
The coastal and marine environments are composed of a mosaic of ecologically interconnected ecosystems that support a high diversity of habitats. Seabed habitat mapping is a very important tool that underlies the discussion and decision making for management of marine ecosystems.
The Abrolhos Bank is the most important coral formation in
Produced with the use of geo-technologies and integration between methods and methodologies, a seabed habitat mapping was proposed and carried out along this important region. Between the years 2007 and 2010, more than 3000km of side-scan sonar images (Edgetech 4100, 100-500 kHz) (Figure 01A) were collected, with the purpose of mapping the sea macrohabitats distributed along the continental shelf of the Abrolhos Bank. In order to correlate them with the information of the seabed (Figure 01B), a database was compiled using information from various data bank sources (National Oceanographic Data Bank of Brazil, Geological Survey of Brazil) and obtained through the use of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV, Seabotix LBV 150S). For integration and visualization of data, a Geographic Information System (GIS) was used.
scheme was developed and classified according to morphological
and textural characteristics of the seabed. Three major
macrohabitats domains were recognized in the scale of the entire
Abrolhos Bank (
Figure 1. A) Side-scan sonar lines; B) Sampling spots; C) Mapping area.
Quantitative assessment of habitat services based on
modelling of fish feeding grounds
Andrius iaulys1, Darius Daunys1,
Martynas Bucas1, Egidijus Bacevicius2
1) Coastal Research and Planning
Herkaus Manto 84,
2) Lithuanian state pisciculture and fisheries research centre,
Fishery Research Laboratory,
Benthic macrofauna is widely known as being one of the most important food sources for higher trophic levels in marine ecosystems. Large Baltic fish species such as cod or flounder feed on the wide spectra of benthic animals such as isopods Saduria entomon, bivalves Macoma balthica, Mytilus edulis, Mya arenaria and even relatively small polychaete worms and gammarids.
This study was aimed at the delineation of optimal feeding grounds for Baltic cod, flounder and burbot in Lithuanian economic zone (~ 7 000 km2). The contents of 1425 fish digestive tracts were analysed to identify food sources of bentophagous fish species and to estimate occurrence and importance of food items in the diet. The distribution and biomass of macrofauna species (food items) were modelled using random forest regression modelling technique based on the statistical relationships between the species distribution and fundamental characteristics of benthic habitats (orbital velocity, bottom current velocity, near-bottom oxygen, salinity, sediments, thermocline and halocline areas etc.). Data on the distribution of benthic macrofauna species for model development were obtained from 640 benthic samples taken in 224 stations. After model calibration and validation the biomass prediction for each benthic species was performed in grid size of 100x100 m.
Overlay of GIS layers representing the biomass distribution of food item (weighted according to occurrence and importance in the diet) resulted in the distribution map of gross biomass of food items for selected fish species and then was used to delineate optimal fish feeding grounds. Additionally, the accuracy assessment of modeled distribution of food items was used to increase the confidence of overall assessment for decision making.
Mapping spatial natural heritage evidence: identifying opportunities for deployment of marine renewable energy technologies in Wales
Kate Smith, John Hamer, Andrew Hill, Peter Walker
The Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) is
the Government's statutory advisor on sustaining natural beauty,
wildlife and the opportunity for outdoor enjoyment in
CCW is committed to working strategically with regulators and developers to support the deployment of marine renewable energy devices in locations, and using technologies, that avoid significant adverse environmental impacts. To facilitate this, GIS-based evidence layers have been produced for natural heritage resources that are likely to be affected by marine renewables.
renewable energy sector is at a very early stage of development
and, to date, only a handful of pilot devices have been deployed
information layers have been developed for these natural heritage
resources, which CCW believes should be taken into account when
planning or searching for suitable locations for the deployment
of marine renewables. Some of the evidence layers provide
information on the distribution and extent of key natural
heritage resources and highlight the breadth of natural heritage
interests that need to be taken into account in strategic
planning processes. Other layers provide an assessment of the
risks to, or vulnerability to the impacts of, key natural
heritage resources from the development of the marine renewable
energy sector in
This mapping work is specifically designed to complement and support work within government that will guide the location of marine energy development to locations that maximise the use of the energy resource, whilst avoiding significant adverse environmental impacts. The information will help to ensure that the environmental risks of development are reduced and that the uncertainties faced by developers in obtaining consent for projects are minimised.
The application of predictive species modelling using multibeam echosounder data, geological interpretation, and biological video observations to map the distribution of vulnerable marine ecosystems
Heather Stewart1, Kerry Howell2, Clare Embling2,
Rebecca Holt2, Inés Pulido Endrino2
Marine Institute at
The need for improved management of our marine environment is growing internationally, specifically the momentum to establish networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) for the conservation of threatened species and habitats. One of the criteria by which MPAs are selected includes the protection of habitats and species that have been identified as rare, sensitive, functionally important, and threatened and/or declining. The practical implementation of such networks requires an understanding of the distribution of these species and habitats with the main problem being the lack of detailed distribution data, e.g. maps. Predictive modelling provides a method by which continuous distribution maps can be produced from limited sample data.
The UK Deep-Sea MPA Project uses Maxent predictive modelling to model the distribution of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) across Hatton Bank, George Bligh Bank, East Rockall Bank, Anton Dohrn Seamount and Rosemary Bank located to the west of the Scottish mainland; and WyvilleThomson Ridge, and two areas within the FaroeShetland Channel located to the north of the Scottish mainland. The model was constructed using multibeam bathymetry data, interpreted sea-bed sediment and sea-bed geomorphology, and derived layers of bathymetric position index, rugosity, slope and aspect. VME presence / absence records were obtained from video observations.
Sea-bed sediment and geomorphology layers were interpreted from a combination of multibeam bathymetry and its derived layers including its backscatter response. Unfortunately, the quality of the backscatter data was not sufficient to be used in an automated classification which may reflect sea-bed sediment variations across an area an objective way. The sea-bed sediment data were ground-truthed using existing British Geological Survey samples and the acquired photographic sample images.
Videos were reviewed and VMEs were mapped and linked to the navigational data from the USBL on the camera system, such that the location of each VME was recorded and then plotted in ArcGIS 9.3.
performed well with results showing that the sea-bed sediments
and geomorphology layers are the most important variables in the
model followed by BPI, slope, rugosity and depth. Probability
maps for the distribution of VMEs were produced. These maps will
contribute to the development of a network of MPAs for the
joint between the
2 Interpretation carried out by the British Geological Survey as part of its ongoing regional mapping programme (MAREMAP).
Interpretation and Maxent modelling carried out by
Harmonised geological maps of the European seas
the EMODNET-Geology project
Alan Stevenson (Marine Geology Team Leader, British Geological Survey) and the project team
Geological Survey, Murchison House,
The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive has been implemented in order to allow a more holistic and multidisciplinary approach to the management of
EMODNET is being created from a network of
existing and developing European observation systems linked by a
data management structure covering all European coastal waters,
shelf seas and surrounding ocean basins. The marine departments
of the European Geological Surveys form the partnership of the
EMODNET-Geology project, part of a suite of EMODNET pilot studies
that also cover marine chemistry, marine biology, marine habitats
and hydrography. The project will share methodologies and
technologies with One Geology and OneGeology-Europe (1G-E) in
order to deliver the EMODNET integrated geological map products
through both the One Geology/1G-E portals so providing
geoscientific information for the seas around
EMODNET-Geology will adopt those standards implemented in One Geology including the use of GeoSciML as well as other open web service technologies including OGC, WMS, WFS etc. EMODNET-Geology will have a distributed map service with each of the work packages delivering a specified layer which will include seafloor geology, seabed sediments, mineral resources and geological events such as submarine slides and earthquakes.
Further information about the EMODNET project can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/eu-marine-observation-data-network-mission_en.html.
How to identify biogenic reefs from statistics of backscatter
Helena Strömberg, Sara Claesson
MMT, Sven Källfelts väg 11, SE-42671 Västra Frölunda, Sweden
MMT has during a long time worked with habitat identification using geophysical information and with further ground truthing for verifying the data. Backscatter, together with side scan sonar and bathymetry, is the main geophysical information sources for both identifying areas of interest for further ground truthing and interpret the extension of the habitat. The most common way of using backscatter data is to identify substrates with different hardness by displaying the mean signal strength. From the experience of habitat classification there has been a need for extracting more information from the data. Rugosity and variance were tested for two ground truthed areas where Sabellaria reefs and Modiolus reefs were found. FMGeocoder were used to investigate if information from the signal strength can be used not only to identify areas of different hardness but also if biogenic reefs can be identified with the variance value of the signal. The idea is that the variance must be larger the more complex the substrate is due to the scattering effect. Together with the mean value biogenic reefs can be identified with a higher confidence. Rugosity is also a way to identify the complexity of the substrate as is known. In FMGeocoder the rugosity can be calculated in two different ways both through ARA and through the statistics tool. The two different tools calculate in slightly different ways which also can be detected in the results from the Modiolus reef where the reef was detected using ARA but not when using the statistics tool. The Sabellara reef could not be detected using rugosity calculations but were clearly detected using variance calculations. The conclusion of this can be that different types of biogenic reefs need different type of calculations to be able to detect them in a more comprehensive way using backscatter data.
Predictive habitat modelling in support of management: the use of species distribution models for assessing marine protected area networks
Göran Sundblad1, Ulf Bergström2, Alfred Sandström3
AquaBiota Water Research, 11418
Swedish Board of Fisheries, Institute of Coastal Research, 74242
Swedish Board of Fisheries, Institute of Freshwater Research,
By 2010, an ecologically coherent network of
well-managed marine protected areas was to be implemented in the
North-East Atlantic and the
Based on predictive distribution models of a coastal fish assemblage and associated habitats, we present a spatially explicit assessment of two important components of the ecological coherence of marine protected area networks; representativity and connectivity, in a 30 000 km2 archipelago area. Representativity measures the proportion of each conservation feature that is protected whereas connectivity assesses the spatial configuration of the network.
In total, 3.5 % (11 km2) of the assemblage habitat was protected and 48 % of the potentially connected habitats were included in the marine protected area network. Visually communicated using maps, the assessment explicitly identified geographical areas where the network should be improved to ensure ecological coherence. Assessments of ecological coherence are scale dependent and the presented approach is modifiable according to different management units or dispersal distances of the species and habitats under consideration.
Tools for visualising and communicating the results to stakeholders and policy makers in the process of working towards ecological coherence should be of broad interest as marine protected area networks are being implemented. These types of map-based assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of evolving marine protected area networks are also highly needed in adaptive management.
Spatial and environmental predictors of species richness
in tropical seabed ecosystems
Patricia R. Sutcliffe1*, Camille Mellin2, C. Roland Pitcher3,
Hugh P. Possingham1, M. Julian Caley2
The Ecology Centre,
Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB No.3, Townsville MC,
richness is a key biodiversity metric widely used to estimate
biodiversity gain or loss and assist in conservation planning and
management. Studies of marine systems typically focus on
only one or a few taxonomic groups and the groups chosen often
vary among studies. Consequently, it is not possible to
understand the performance of predictors of species richness
across taxonomic groups. Using a taxonomically comprehensive data
set including 14 taxa of seabed fauna from 6 phyla on the Great
Deep-sea biotope diversity: an illustrated catalogue
for the Azores (
Fernando Tempera1, José Nuno Pereira1, Andreia Braga Henriques1,
Filipe Porteiro1, Telmo Morato1, Valentina Matos1, Daphne Cuvelier1,
Miguel Souto2, Ana Colaço1, Ricardo Serrão Santos1
1) University of the Azores, Horta,
2) Portuguese Task Group for Maritime Affairs (EMAM), Paço de Arcos, Lisbon, Portugal
Video archives at the University of the
This inventory contributes to the development of the deep-sea sections of the EUNIS habitat classification system and identifying a representative suite of Mid-Atlantic Ridge biotopes in need of protection.
Figure1. Examples of deep-sea facies found
Habitat mapping in extreme deep sea environment:
geospherebiosphere interaction in deep anoxic basins
Chiara Tessarolo1, Elisa Malinverno1, Cesare Corselli1, Gert J. De Lange2
1) Department of Geological Sciences and Geotechnologies,
The recent exploration of the Mediterranean
Ridge area has resulted in the discovery of some of the most
extreme deep-sea environments, characterized by peculiar
geochemical and physical condition.
The origin of these structures is
morphologically connected to the compressive regime of the
Mediterranean Ridge, due to the African plate subducting beneath
The brines are characterized by the absence of oxygen, the presence of high concentrations of H2S and CH4, and by an extremely sharp seawater/brine interface, thus with a strong density contrast. This interface is a hotspot for a large variety of mostly redox-controled strong bacterial activity.
In the last years, different projects have dealt with the study of those basins. The work has focussed on the reconstruction of drastic composition changes of the water column, the evaluation of the anoxia trends and of the chemical elements concentration, and more recently, thanks to the technical innovations on seafloor mapping, to a progressively more accurate characterization of the shape and structure of the seabed.
In the last three years, the MilanBicocca University has been responsible for geophysical data acquisition and analysis in the EU Moccha Project (Multidisciplinary study of continental/ocean climate dynamics using high-resolution records from the eastern Mediterranean), whose cruises (Doppio 2008, Macchiato 2009, Ristretto&Lungo 201011) allowed the collection of information (Multibeam Echosounder Simrad EM302) on several target areas at the Mediterranean Ridge. The processing and elaboration of the geophysical data allowed a highly detailed and extended morpho-bathymetric characterization of Urania, Atalante, Discovery, Bannock, Medee, Kryos, and Thetis anoxic basins.
The coupling of new geophysical information with the biotechnological results of EU BIODEEP Project (Biotechnologies from the Deep: EU Community 20012004), also coordinated by MilanBicocca University, will be presented in this work as a first approach to a Habitat Mapping definition on the extreme anoxic basin environment, suggesting a methodology for subsequent studies on the same area.
Mapping cold seep habitats using AUV mounted acoustic
and optical devices
Terje Thorsnes1, Shyam Chand1, Harald Brunstad2, Arnfinn Karlsen3
Geological Survey of
Norwegian Defence Research Institute,
Cold seeps with associated carbonate crusts are uncommon, but potentially important habitats with special faunas. These habitats have received little attention in Norwegian waters, because of their scarcity and the challenges involved in studying them. New technologies involving acoustic and optical devices mounted on AUVs, together with the ability of multibeam echosounders to collect and process water column data have opened new possibilities.
The study area is in the glacial depression Hola, located 15 km off the coast of Vesterålen, North Norway, at c. 200 m water depth. This depression is famous for its coral reefs, exceeding a number of 200. In 2007, a gas plume was detected using a single beam echosounder, and a slab of carbonate crust was observed on video. The sediments are dominated by sand, with coarser areas of gravel to boulders.
For the study, we used the multibeam echosounder EM710 (bathymetry and water column data), the HUGIN 1000 AUV and a small ROV. The HUGIN 1000 was equipped with a 400 kHz sidescan sonar, multibeam echosounder, a methane sniffer, salinity and temperature meters, and a high speed black and white camera. The ROV was equipped with video recording and still image equipment, and a grip arm for collecting samples.
With the EM710, we were able to prove that gas plumes are present in the area. Several short surveys indicate that the emissions of gas are periodical, and may be related to tide water cycles. The sidescan data from HUGIN allowed identification of several anomalous areas close to the locations where gas plumes were observed. The photos provided by HUGIN (one every second) gave us a continuous 7 10 m wide transect of the seabed, and showed several areas with irregular, up to 1 m wide dark slabs. The EM710 data demonstrated that these areas represent small, 1 -2 m high mounds, up to 100 m in diameter. The carbonate crust retrieved with the ROV will be used for geochronologic profiling which hopefully will allow the assessment of venting rates over time.
Figure1. Carbonate crust slabs on the seafloor. Width of image is 7 m.
Figure 2. The HUGIN AUV was used for collecting detailed sidescan sonar data and photos along sections.
an integrated programme for marine mapping in
Terje Thorsnes1, Børge Holte2, Hanne Hodnesdal3
Geological Survey of
3) Norwegian Hydrographic Service
MAREANO programme maps bathymetry, sediment composition, habitats
and biotopes, biodiversity, as well as pollution in the seabed in
Norwegian coastal and offshore regions. The area encompasses
continental shelf, slope and deep water zones and includes many
extreme habitats including shelf-edge canyons and submarine
slides. MAREANO is coordinated by the
In 2010, MAREANO mapped 16 000 km2 in terms of geology and biology, and 7 000 km2 of multibeam bathymetry. The total budget was 60 million Norwegian kroner, equivalent to 7.740 million Euros. The results from MAREANO were reported to the Government, as part of the Integrated Management Plan process. A popular scientific book (in Norwegian) was also presented.
Highlights in 2010 include mapping of the Røst Reef presumably the worlds largest known coral reef. This reef is situated on the shelf edge c. 100 km west of Lofoten, an area known for its beautiful mountains and rich fishing grounds. The reef complex is situated in a 4 000 year submarine slide complex. The large parts of the reef is well preserved, possibly because the very rugged submarine slide terrain has made it impossible to use bottom trawls in the area. This provides an interesting link between geological processes, biological features and human interaction.
For further information and results see the MAREANO website www.mareano.no
Figure 1. The dotted areas (showing stations) were mapped in 2010.
Multivariate statistical analysis of cold-water coral distributions
in relation to seabed topography
Ruiju Tong and Vikram Unnithan
Paragorgia arborea (P. arborea) and Primnoa resedaeformis
(P. resedaeformis) are the two most
abundant and widely distributed large cold-water gorgonian corals
The topographic features may influence the
cold-water coral distribution indirectly by governing the current
regimes to concentrate the nutrient and larvae. However, the
quantitative relationship between cold-water coral distribution
and terrain features is far from well known. In this study, we
focused on dense living gorgonians (P. arborea and P. resedaeformis)
identified by video surveys from Jago dives of
The seabed topography was quantitatively described by a suite of multiscale terrain parameters with ecological relevance. A series of statistical methods, including summary statistics, distribution statistics, ecological niche factor analysis and correlation analysis, were applied to investigate the quantitative relationship between coral (P. arborea and P. resedaeformis) distribution and topography at the three study sites. The distribution pattern of both species and global area on these terrain variables were statistically analyzed. The curvature (mean curvature, plan curvature and profile curvature) and BPI (bathymetry position index) at analysis scales 90 m and 170 m were found as key terrain variables and were strongly correlated at the three geographically distinctive study sites. Almost all of both species were found on topographic highs at Traena Reef and Sotbakken Reef. However, at Røst Reef, a lot of both species were observed in low-lying area at the analysis scales 30 m, 90 m and 170 m, which might emphasis the more importance of the rugged seabed topography at Røst Reef in influencing the nutrient concentration.
Developing maps from acoustic and groundtruth data that portray seabed features, substrates, and processes as a basis for
habitat and biotope mapping
Page C. Valentine
The seabed exhibits a suite of mappable attributes that include topography, substrate backscatter intensity, sediment texture and mobility, seabed features (bedforms, gravel pavements, boulder ridges, living structures), and water temperature, among others. Such physical information is used to define and map habitats, places where biological assemblages live. Following recent usage, a physical habitat and the biological elements that live there is called a biotope. Effective ecosystem management requires maps that show the distributions of habitats, biotopes, and individual species of interest. The level of habitat resolution that can be achieved depends on the quality and quantity of available physical data. Ideally, the approach to mapping biotopes is to first map habitats based on physical parameters and second, describe the species resident in each habitat. Practically, physical data are generally less time consuming to collect and analyze than biological data. Where biological data are not available, habitat mapping can still proceed and provide a basis for future biological collecting and biotope definition. Mapping geological substrates and seabed processes at high resolution (10s of meters) is key to understanding where species live and why they live there.
For the Stellwagen Bank region off
Standardisation and harmonisation in seabed habitat mapping: How can a geological data infrastructure project contribute?
Vera Van Lancker1, Gabriela Carrara2, Sigrid Elvenes3, Sytze van Heteren4, Sven Kupschus5, Aave Lepland3, Jorgen OLeth6, Claire Mason5,
Xavier Monteys7, Eric Moussat8, Thierry Schmitt9, Odd H. Selboskar3, Isabelle Thinon10, Terje Thorsnes3, Koen Verbruggen7
Seabed habitat mapping is mostly based on the assumption that the ecological value of an area can be represented by its abiotic characteristics (substrate type, topography and energy regime). Within this realm geological and geophysical data are crucial, as are their derivatives. For end-users it is not always clear what data exists, and when compiling data from various sources, problems arise on how to harmonise the data. More standardised archiving of data is needed, as also more standardised approaches on how to deal with the data. Geo-Seas, a FP7 pan-European e-infrastructure for geological and geophysical data is addressing this need, both at the data level, as well as by the development of new data products and services. In this respect, Geo-Seas targeted Seabed Habitat Mapping as a field where the standardisation and harmonisation of geological data can lead to better mapping products. Sediment and terrain characterisation is focussed on, respecting applications on a regional (>500m), medium- (50m) to fine-scale (<5m).
In relation to the sediment characterisation, emphasis is put on improving sediment databases. Instead of working with derived parameters such as the median grain-size and/or silt-clay percentage, the full grain-size distribution curve data will be made available. As such parameters can be calculated on the fly; multiple users can derive the most relevant parameters for their use (e.g. resource evaluations or fisheries habitat mapping). Further, the better classification of gravel/boulders/rocks is aimed at. Recommendations will be provided on the use of multibeam backscatter data for sediment classification. Cross-fertilisation of Geo-Seas and the EMODNET-Geology and EUSeaMap (DG MARE) projects is foreseen.
Terrain characterisation has gained considerable importance in the mapping and modelling of habitats. However, calculation and classification of terrain variables is still subject of discussion. More standardised approaches will be proposed with recommendations on: (1) Identifying geomorphological structures with ecological significance, and suitable for use in habitat mapping in European waters; (2) Demonstrating how such structures can be identified using terrain characterization; (3) Investigating how different resolution of bathymetry data affects the terrain characterisation, with case studies demonstrating successful and unsuccessful classification at various scales (5m, 50m, 500m); and (4) Providing recommendations for the resolution and formats of bathymetric data to be used for habitat mapping.
Soft substratum biodiversity hotspots in shallow waters, the role of sediment dynamics and anthropogenic influence?
Vera Van Lancker1, Naomi T. Breine2, Matthias Baeye1,3,
Rindert Janssens1, Marijn Rabaut2
Mapping the extent of seabed habitats and their characterization becomes increasingly important within a European context. Within the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive anthropogenic impacts need weighing against the habitat types with the aim of maintaining the integrity of the seafloor. This is particularly challenging in the Belgian coastal zone, where anthropogenic influence is high and where mud to fine sands prevail. Disposal of dredged material is common practice and influences both suspended and bedload transport. The main disposal ground is situated at the edge of an ebb tidal delta. Disposal activities take place in a tidal channel, at the end of which hotspots of biodiversity occur. Beam trawling is intense in these areas.
Fine-scale mapping has been procured, using very high resolution multibeam echosounding (300 kHz; 1*1m). Full-coverage imagery was obtained, as also, along selected lines, repetitive measurements to study bedform dynamics, as also the stability of the biodiversity hotspots. Hull-mounted Acoustic Doppler Current Profiling (ADCP) revealed insights into the current structure during 13hrs tidal cycle. Ground-truthing comprised of sediment and biological sampling, point-based and along transects.
Multibeam imagery allowed direct
visualization of the habitat of some macrobenthos species. At the
end of the tidal channel, the dense aggregations of the tube worm
Owenia fusiformis were inferred. Sediment dynamics are
here intensified, confirmed by the presence of medium dunes,
composed of fine sands. Outside of this influence zone, another
hotspot of biodiversity was mapped: the dense fields of the razor
blade Ensis directus, being the most important invasive
species in Belgian waters. Higher up the slope of the ebb tidal
delta, a fine patchy structure was revealed, likely corresponding
with the dense aggregations of the tube worm Lanice conchilega.
Both O. fusiformis and L. conchilega are considered
important ecosystem engineers for
The repetitive surveys, in combination with ADCP measurements, revealed the importance of the tidal channel as transport pathway of sediment, larvae, and nutrients. Nutrient supply is likely enhanced, because of the vicinity of the disposal ground. However, the interplay with the dynamics of the ebb tidal delta is yet unclear. Satellite imagery, with a high spatial and temporal resolution, is targeted for this purpose, as also sediment transport modelling. It is aimed at demonstrating the role of sediment processes in the dynamics of benthic communities; hence the latter also being vulnerable to changing physical parameters.
Research is conducted within the Belgian Science Policy (Belspo) projects QUEST4D (QUantification of Erosion and Sedimentation patterns to Trace natural versus anthropogenic sediment dynamics; Belspo SD/NS/06B), and EnSIS (Ecosystem Sensitivity to Invasive Species; Belspo SD/NS/09A). Results are reported as case study for fine-scale habitat mapping within the EU-FP7 project Geo-Seas on Geological and Geophysical Data Infrastructure, Work package Seabed Habitat Mapping.
Review of geological mapping in the Lithuanian water area
Erikas Visakavicius, Ingrida Bagdanaviciute, Albertas Bitinas
The bottom topography and sedimentation of
The first complex geological investigation
in Lithuanian waters was accomplished in 19821989 during
the national program of geological mapping of the
In 1992, the Lithuanian Institute of Geology (GI) and Lithuanian Geological Survey (LGT) initiated a program of geological mapping in Lithuanian waters. In 19931996, geological and geophysical investigations and mapping of Lithuanian waters in the KlaipedaSventoji area were carried out. Geological and geomorphological maps (scale 1:50 000) were compiled. In 19971999, investigations were continued in the KlaipedaNida area, but due to lack of financial support were stopped in 2000 and realization of the entire program was cancelled.
The joint LithuanianSwedish project
Geobalt, aimed at geological mapping of the central
part of the
In 19992004, The LGT, in collaboration
In addition to the regional geological
mapping, many local geological, geophysical, geochemical,
underwater and archaeological investigations in the south-eastern
part of the
Figure 1. Map of hydroacoustic investigations in Lithuanian waters. 1 investigated area, 2 area of future investigation, 3 boundary of the Lithuanian EEZ.
A proposed biotope classification system for
Sofia Wikström1, Darius Daunys2, Jouni Leinikki3
1) AquaBiota Water Research, Svante Arrhenius väg 21 A,
Coastal Research and Planning Institute,
The Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) proposes
that an international biotope classification system should be
developed for the
We have compiled existing habitat
classification systems and evaluated how a Baltic biotope
classification can build on these previous efforts. In parallel,
we have analysed field data from the phytobenthic zone of Finland
We present a draft version of a Baltic biotope classification based on the HELCOM Red list of biotopes (1998), and aim to update the classification to lower levels adding biological features. The ambition has been to create a classification that meets the needs of the Baltic region and reflect major features of the Baltic ecosystem. At the same time, the aim has been to enable smooth transfer of the Baltic units to the European habitat classification system EUNIS. The proposed biotope classification therefore represents a compromise classification between an independent Baltic classification and EUNIS, as both should be consistent in terms of structure.
The proposed biotope classification
presented here is not fully covering the diversity of biotopes in
Lidar a remote sensing technique for improving the
accuracy of spatial modelling in coastal areas
Sofia Wikström, Karl Florén
Water Research, Svante Arrhenius väg 21 A, SE-114 18 Stockholm,
Lidar (light detection and ranging) has
emerged as a potential tool for mapping macrovegetation and
bottom substrates in shallow coastal areas. By sending out two
laser pulses, one hitting the sea surface and one hitting the sea
floor, the bottom depth can be calculated from the time interval
between them. The technique collects highly accurate bathymetric
data from 0.2 m depth down to 2x secchi depth a depth
interval where detailed bathymetric information is often missing.
Within two projects, ULTRA and EMMA, a Lidar
survey was conducted in the archipelago of Rönnskär,
approximately 40 km west of
Recent seafloor habitat mapping in
bathymetric Lidar reflectance imagery
Jerry Wilson1, M. Broadbent1, J. Martinez1, M. MacDonald1,
Hortencia Maria Barboza de Assis2, Grady Tuell3
1) Fugro Pelagos, San Diego, CA 92123 USA
2) Serviço Geológico do Brasil, Recife PE, Brasil - CEP: 50770-011
An agency of the Geological Survey of Brazil
has been conducting a seafloor mapping program of regions of the
The Companhia de Pesquisa de Recursos
Minerais (CPRM) is a state-owned company that carries out the
functions of the Geological Survey of Brazil, under the auspices
of the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Its mission is to
produce and divulge the basic geological and hydrological
knowledge required for sustainable development in
CPRM has recently added airborne LiDAR bathymetry (ALB) to augment their program. This added information provides contiguous elevation data from the offshore depths, across the shoreline and along an onshore corridor of coastal topography. This provides a unified data set to fill in the nearshore gap between the inshore edge of vessel-based survey data and the shoreline.
In addition to the continuous coastal zone elevation data from ALB, the return from each laser beam is recorded as a wave form, which can be processed to yield an image of the underwater terrain. The example below is from the CPRM project.
Early results are now being processed and assessed. One objective is to design a ground truth data acquisition plan specifically to support interpretation of this newly added data source.
We will present the progress of the CPRM
Ferromanganese concretions as microhabitats
Pirjo Yli-Hemminki, Kirsten S. Jørgensen, Jouni Lehtoranta
Research Centre, Finnish Environment
Large and dense (0.5-50 kg m-2)
Fe/Mn-concretion deposits cover about 10 % of the bottom surface
Figure 1. Bacteria from Fe/Mn concretions grow as layers in opposing gradients of FeS (black bottom plug) and oxygen with and without added Na-acetate (1 mM) respectively (tubes 1 and 2 from left). Tubes 3 and 4 are uninoculated controls with and without Na-acetate. Tubes 5 and 6 are killed inoculates with and without Na-acetate.
The Seabed Sediment Mapping Programme in the
Manfred Zeiler1, Franz Tauber2
2) Baltic Sea Research Institute Warnemuende IOW), Seestr. 15,
On behalf of BSH the seabed sediments of the German Baltic Sea have been mapped by IOW from 1994 until 2010. The mapping is based on old and new grab samples that underwent granulometric analyses. The derived statistical parameters median and sorting were used for the classification of gravel, sand, silt and clay. Further sediment types comprise lag sediments, glacial clay, boulders and peat.
During the mapping programme the classification scheme and the interpolation methods were improved after gaining more practical experience over the years. Consequently, the complete dataset is being harmonized for the whole mapping area in 2011 and will be available via the GeoSeaPortal of BSH by the end of the year.