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A quantitative technique for the morphological characterisation of submarine landscapes – exemplified by debris flows in the Storegga Slide

A quantitative technique for the morphological characterisation of submarine landscapes – exemplified by debris flows in the Storegga Slide
A quantitative technique for the morphological characterisation of submarine landscapes – exemplified by debris flows in the Storegga Slide
In comparison to subaerial and planetary landscapes, submarine environments are rarely investigated using quantitative geomorphological techniques. Application of traditional geomorphometric techniques is hindered by the spatial variability in bathymetric data resolution and the extensive scale over which changes in topography occur. We propose a novel methodology for the improved quantitative analysis of submarine elevation data by adapting numerical techniques, developed for subaerial analyses, to submarine environments. The method integrates three main morphometric techniques: (1) morphometric attributes and their statistical analyses, (2) feature-based quantitative representation, and (3) automated topographic classification. These techniques allow useful morphological information to be extracted from a digital elevation model. Morphometric attributes and their statistical analyses provide summary information about an area, which can be used to calibrate computer-generated geomorphometric maps. In these maps the boundaries of geomorphological features are delineated, and they can thus be used as the basis for geomorphological interpretation. Ridge patterns and their morphological characteristics provide an accurate representation of specific aspects of terrain variability. Moment statistics are used as proxies of surface roughness to differentiate between surface types. Unsupervised classification, carried out using ridge characteristics and moment statistics, reliably segments the surface into units of homogeneous topography. A case study of debris flow lobes within the Storegga Slide shows that the techniques work robustly and that the new methodology integrating all the techniques can significantly enhance submarine geomorphological investigations
bathymetry, geomorphometry, storegga
0148-0227
F02001-[15pp]
Micallef, Aaron
bdefb31d-b254-499d-8361-0d4e921a1765
Berndt, Christian
d6db3f62-9891-4e8a-9210-b3aa6a8a4c22
Masson, Douglas G.
edd44c8b-38ca-45fb-8d0d-ac8365748a45
Stow, Dorrik A.V.
888764b3-5e4d-49bf-96fd-32ba7f6f8356
Micallef, Aaron
bdefb31d-b254-499d-8361-0d4e921a1765
Berndt, Christian
d6db3f62-9891-4e8a-9210-b3aa6a8a4c22
Masson, Douglas G.
edd44c8b-38ca-45fb-8d0d-ac8365748a45
Stow, Dorrik A.V.
888764b3-5e4d-49bf-96fd-32ba7f6f8356

Micallef, Aaron, Berndt, Christian, Masson, Douglas G. and Stow, Dorrik A.V. (2007) A quantitative technique for the morphological characterisation of submarine landscapes – exemplified by debris flows in the Storegga Slide. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, F02001-[15pp]. (doi:10.1029/2006JF000505).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In comparison to subaerial and planetary landscapes, submarine environments are rarely investigated using quantitative geomorphological techniques. Application of traditional geomorphometric techniques is hindered by the spatial variability in bathymetric data resolution and the extensive scale over which changes in topography occur. We propose a novel methodology for the improved quantitative analysis of submarine elevation data by adapting numerical techniques, developed for subaerial analyses, to submarine environments. The method integrates three main morphometric techniques: (1) morphometric attributes and their statistical analyses, (2) feature-based quantitative representation, and (3) automated topographic classification. These techniques allow useful morphological information to be extracted from a digital elevation model. Morphometric attributes and their statistical analyses provide summary information about an area, which can be used to calibrate computer-generated geomorphometric maps. In these maps the boundaries of geomorphological features are delineated, and they can thus be used as the basis for geomorphological interpretation. Ridge patterns and their morphological characteristics provide an accurate representation of specific aspects of terrain variability. Moment statistics are used as proxies of surface roughness to differentiate between surface types. Unsupervised classification, carried out using ridge characteristics and moment statistics, reliably segments the surface into units of homogeneous topography. A case study of debris flow lobes within the Storegga Slide shows that the techniques work robustly and that the new methodology integrating all the techniques can significantly enhance submarine geomorphological investigations

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More information

Published date: 3 April 2007
Keywords: bathymetry, geomorphometry, storegga

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 43743
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/43743
ISSN: 0148-0227
PURE UUID: 721bf98b-3b2e-47d8-85b0-c7a3a78f89be

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Date deposited: 26 Jan 2007
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 03:55

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Contributors

Author: Aaron Micallef
Author: Christian Berndt
Author: Douglas G. Masson
Author: Dorrik A.V. Stow

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