Mapping marine habitats with high resolution sidescan sonar

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McRea Jr., J. E., Greene, H. G., O'Connell, V. M., & Wakefield, W. W. (1999). Mapping marine habitats with high resolution sidescan sonar. Oceanologica Acta, 22(6), 679-686. doi:10.1016/S0399-1784(00)88958-6
TitleMapping marine habitats with high resolution sidescan sonar
AuthorsJ. McRea Jr, H. Greene, V. O'Connell, W. Wakefield
AbstractThe application of marine geophysics and GIS techniques to the characterization of benthic habitats has increased the ability of fisheries managers to assess distribution and habitat types beyond common practices. We report upon a 150 kHz sidescan sonar survey offshore of Kruzof Island, Alaska undertaken to characterize rockfish (Sebastes) habitat. Using GIS, MapGrafix and Map*Factory we determined the percentage of seafloor cover that exists in our survey area. Bathymetry in the study area was determined with sidescan interferometry. All XYZ data were gridded using Surfer and plotted in shaded relief, bathymetric contour, and 3-dimensional formats. Contoured bathymetry was used as an overlay in MapGrafix. Small sub-areas were extracted from the bathymetric data for closer study, and gridded in Surfer. Areas of the mosaic where backscatter patterns were not distinct were verified with hand samples and video collected with the submersible Delta. The use of submersibles for verification of interpreted lithologies and surface textures enables a high degree of accuracy for the interpretations. Lithotypes were lumped into larger groups based on morphology and fish associations with different morphologies verified using the submersible. The accuracy of digital maps from high-resolution sidescan sonar data allows a close quantification of the areal extents of these important features, directing the application of management strategies to critical areas.
JournalOceanologica Acta
Start page679
End page686
Subjectsbathymetry, environmental management, fishery, geographic information system, habitat, marine environment, Sebastes, sonar, United States, GIS, habitat type, seafloor mapping, sidescan sonar
NoteCited By (since 1996):24, Oceanography, CODEN: OCACD