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Wide area 3D visual reconstructions to survey the distribution of macrobenthos in deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems

Wide area 3D visual reconstructions to survey the distribution of macrobenthos in deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems
Wide area 3D visual reconstructions to survey the distribution of macrobenthos in deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems
Deep-sea hydrothermal systems often support large and diverse populations of vent-associated organisms. While these organisms are well adapted to surviving in dynamic and unstable environmental conditions, the interest in deep-sea mining raises concerns about the potential impacts of human activities on the health of these ecosystems. In this work, we describe a practical method to rapidly assess the distribution and diversity of macrobenthos over wide areas based on a two-phase multi-resolution visual mapping technique. The first phase maps wide areas of the seafloor from high altitudes of 10m at a rates > 10,000m2/h. The resolution of the data obtained during this phase is in the region of 1cm and is used to map the distribution of larger species that can be easily identified at this resolution. The data is also used to identify densely populated regions for more detailed mapping in the second phase. The second phase maps the seafloor from an altitude of 2m, covering 1000m2/h at a resolution of about 1mm and is used to map a larger number of species. The technique is applied to two areas in the Iheya North Field of the Okinawa trough, in regions that were extensively drilled during the IODP 331 expedition. A total area of more than 30,000m2 was mapped in a single dive with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and more than 80,000 organisms were identified from six different species. The data obtained forms the largest continuous 3D reconstructions of the seafloor mapped visually and the largest continuous dataset for the distribution of deep-sea macrobenthic organisms. The results give insight into the effects of human drilling activity on vent-ecosystems. The method described is a practical way to quantitatively assess the distribution of macrobenthic biomass over statistically meaningful spatial scales in a way that is repeatable and is suitable for comparison between sites or for monitoring sites over time.
American Geophysical Union
Thornton, Blair
8293beb5-c083-47e3-b5f0-d9c3cee14be9
Bodenmann, Adrian
070a668f-cc2f-402a-844e-cdf207b24f50
Nakajima, Ryota
c871cdb4-a7be-4ced-a6e7-5e521a3a77bc
Williams, Stefan B.
c9477238-5139-4b74-804c-3b9b464f6949
Pizarro, Oscar
45a78dfb-5f85-4595-bfc8-d1ac46f2e7bb
Takai, Ken
ab7b7a53-c1c2-4005-a646-8e9472147011
Thornton, Blair
8293beb5-c083-47e3-b5f0-d9c3cee14be9
Bodenmann, Adrian
070a668f-cc2f-402a-844e-cdf207b24f50
Nakajima, Ryota
c871cdb4-a7be-4ced-a6e7-5e521a3a77bc
Williams, Stefan B.
c9477238-5139-4b74-804c-3b9b464f6949
Pizarro, Oscar
45a78dfb-5f85-4595-bfc8-d1ac46f2e7bb
Takai, Ken
ab7b7a53-c1c2-4005-a646-8e9472147011

Thornton, Blair, Bodenmann, Adrian, Nakajima, Ryota, Williams, Stefan B., Pizarro, Oscar and Takai, Ken (2016) Wide area 3D visual reconstructions to survey the distribution of macrobenthos in deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems. In Ocean Sciences Meeting 2016. American Geophysical Union..

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Deep-sea hydrothermal systems often support large and diverse populations of vent-associated organisms. While these organisms are well adapted to surviving in dynamic and unstable environmental conditions, the interest in deep-sea mining raises concerns about the potential impacts of human activities on the health of these ecosystems. In this work, we describe a practical method to rapidly assess the distribution and diversity of macrobenthos over wide areas based on a two-phase multi-resolution visual mapping technique. The first phase maps wide areas of the seafloor from high altitudes of 10m at a rates > 10,000m2/h. The resolution of the data obtained during this phase is in the region of 1cm and is used to map the distribution of larger species that can be easily identified at this resolution. The data is also used to identify densely populated regions for more detailed mapping in the second phase. The second phase maps the seafloor from an altitude of 2m, covering 1000m2/h at a resolution of about 1mm and is used to map a larger number of species. The technique is applied to two areas in the Iheya North Field of the Okinawa trough, in regions that were extensively drilled during the IODP 331 expedition. A total area of more than 30,000m2 was mapped in a single dive with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and more than 80,000 organisms were identified from six different species. The data obtained forms the largest continuous 3D reconstructions of the seafloor mapped visually and the largest continuous dataset for the distribution of deep-sea macrobenthic organisms. The results give insight into the effects of human drilling activity on vent-ecosystems. The method described is a practical way to quantitatively assess the distribution of macrobenthic biomass over statistically meaningful spatial scales in a way that is repeatable and is suitable for comparison between sites or for monitoring sites over time.

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More information

Published date: February 2016
Venue - Dates: 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting, New Orleans, 2016-02-21 - 2016-02-26

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Local EPrints ID: 415768
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/415768
PURE UUID: d6a3086e-0fe1-432f-b6d6-21aaea5b9abe

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Date deposited: 23 Nov 2017 17:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 19:13

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