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New approaches to high-resolution mapping of marine vertical structures

New approaches to high-resolution mapping of marine vertical structures
New approaches to high-resolution mapping of marine vertical structures
Vertical walls in marine environments can harbour high biodiversity and provide natural protection from bottom-trawling activities. However, traditional mapping techniques are usually restricted to down-looking approaches which cannot adequately replicate their 3D structure. We combined sideways-looking multibeam echosounder (MBES) data from an AUV, forward-looking MBES data from ROVs and ROV-acquired videos to examine walls from Rockall Bank and Whittard Canyon, Northeast Atlantic. High-resolution 3D point clouds were extracted from each sonar dataset and structure from motion photogrammetry (SfM) was applied to recreate 3D representations of video transects along the walls. With these reconstructions, it was possible to interact with extensive sections of video footage and precisely position individuals. Terrain variables were derived on scales comparable to those experienced by megabenthic individuals. These were used to show differences in environmental conditions between observed and background locations as well as explain spatial patterns in ecological characteristics. In addition, since the SfM 3D reconstructions retained colours, they were employed to separate and quantify live coral colonies versus dead framework. The combination of these new technologies allows us, for the first time, to map the physical 3D structure of previously inaccessible habitats and demonstrates the complexity and importance of vertical structures.
2045-2322
Robert, Katleen
49e4bfa2-0999-41ec-b50d-65c0f8896583
Huvenne, Veerle A. I.
f22be3e2-708c-491b-b985-a438470fa053
Georgiopoulou, Aggeliki
1cc90c8c-49e7-4be1-9117-851793dcfe57
Jones, Daniel O. B.
44fc07b3-5fb7-4bf5-9cec-78c78022613a
Marsh, Leigh
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D. O. Carter, Gareth
ae9248e5-ab8e-4d88-afc4-608d8ce6b27e
Chaumillon, Leo
7927d62f-97e7-4b49-844a-d0cc2d7b5417
Robert, Katleen
49e4bfa2-0999-41ec-b50d-65c0f8896583
Huvenne, Veerle A. I.
f22be3e2-708c-491b-b985-a438470fa053
Georgiopoulou, Aggeliki
1cc90c8c-49e7-4be1-9117-851793dcfe57
Jones, Daniel O. B.
44fc07b3-5fb7-4bf5-9cec-78c78022613a
Marsh, Leigh
b9d089aa-91e4-4a2e-b716-a7352616c6a2
D. O. Carter, Gareth
ae9248e5-ab8e-4d88-afc4-608d8ce6b27e
Chaumillon, Leo
7927d62f-97e7-4b49-844a-d0cc2d7b5417

Robert, Katleen, Huvenne, Veerle A. I., Georgiopoulou, Aggeliki, Jones, Daniel O. B., Marsh, Leigh, D. O. Carter, Gareth and Chaumillon, Leo (2017) New approaches to high-resolution mapping of marine vertical structures. Scientific Reports, 7 (1), [9005]. (doi:10.1038/s41598-017-09382-z).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Vertical walls in marine environments can harbour high biodiversity and provide natural protection from bottom-trawling activities. However, traditional mapping techniques are usually restricted to down-looking approaches which cannot adequately replicate their 3D structure. We combined sideways-looking multibeam echosounder (MBES) data from an AUV, forward-looking MBES data from ROVs and ROV-acquired videos to examine walls from Rockall Bank and Whittard Canyon, Northeast Atlantic. High-resolution 3D point clouds were extracted from each sonar dataset and structure from motion photogrammetry (SfM) was applied to recreate 3D representations of video transects along the walls. With these reconstructions, it was possible to interact with extensive sections of video footage and precisely position individuals. Terrain variables were derived on scales comparable to those experienced by megabenthic individuals. These were used to show differences in environmental conditions between observed and background locations as well as explain spatial patterns in ecological characteristics. In addition, since the SfM 3D reconstructions retained colours, they were employed to separate and quantify live coral colonies versus dead framework. The combination of these new technologies allows us, for the first time, to map the physical 3D structure of previously inaccessible habitats and demonstrates the complexity and importance of vertical structures.

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s41598-017-09382-z - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 26 July 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 21 August 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 413567
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/413567
ISSN: 2045-2322
PURE UUID: 71aee418-09fa-415f-a4e0-592d9f395cd4
ORCID for Veerle A. I. Huvenne: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7135-6360

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Date deposited: 29 Aug 2017 16:30
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 01:46

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Contributors

Author: Katleen Robert
Author: Veerle A. I. Huvenne ORCID iD
Author: Aggeliki Georgiopoulou
Author: Daniel O. B. Jones
Author: Leigh Marsh
Author: Gareth D. O. Carter
Author: Leo Chaumillon

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