Construction of digital potential marine benthic habitat maps using a coded classification scheme and its application

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Greene, H. G., Bizzarro, J. J., O'Connell, V. M., & Brylinsky, C. K. (2007). Construction of digital potential marine benthic habitat maps using a coded classification scheme and its application. Special Paper - Geological Association of Canada, (47), 141-155.
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TitleConstruction of digital potential marine benthic habitat maps using a coded classification scheme and its application
AuthorsG. Greene, J. Bizzarro, M. O'Connell, K. Brylinsky
AbstractRecent advancements in remote-sensing geophysical technology have enabled the imaging of deep seafloor regions, and the construction of detailed maps depicting potential marine benthic habitats. The recent and severe declines in many groundfish stocks, and the degradation of associated seafloor habitats make these maps of critical importance to the identification of essential fish habitat, and the facilitation of habitat-based management, through the establishment of marine protected areas. However no standard approach to mapping deep-water (>30 m) marine benthic habitats has been established and endorsed by the scientific community, even though several different deep-water habitat characterization schemes exist or are evolving. In this paper, a classification scheme, including an attribute code, for mapping potential marine benthic habitats is presented in an attempt to establish a standard technique to facilitate reproducibility of habitat designations and comparisons of deep-water marine benthic habitats worldwide. This scheme has been developed over more than 15 years of mapping seafloor habitats. One of the main strengths of the scheme is versatility and ease of use because it can be applied to any seafloor environment and is directly adaptable to use with Geographic Information System (GIS) programs. The habitat-mapping scheme presented here is based on physiography and scale, induration (hardness of substrate), and geomorphology. The attribute code associated with this scheme consists of seven primary characters that can be used to represent: 1) physiography and depth (i.e., megahabitat), 2) substrate induration, 3) geomorphology (i.e., meso- and macrohabitat), 4) modifiers for texture, lithology, bedform and biology, 5) seafloor slope or inclination, 6) seafloor rugosity, and 7) geological unit, represented by standard geological symbols. The latter three characters are optional and are included only when slope and rugosity can be calculated and when the geology is known. Further an additional attribute code is presented for use in distinguishing potential habitat types from video and photographic data that consists of two primary characters: 1) geologic or substrate attributes, and 2) biological attributes.
JournalSpecial Paper - Geological Association of Canada
Date2007
Issue47
Start page141
End page155
ISSN00721042
Subjectsbenthos, classification, digital mapping, GIS, habitat type, imaging method, protected area, remote sensing, seafloor mapping
NoteCited By (since 1996):2 Fish and Fisheries

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