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Geosciences 2018, 8(6), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8060214

Improved Interpretation of Marine Sedimentary Environments Using Multi-Frequency Multibeam Backscatter Data

1
Marine Geology, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, 18119 Rostock, Germany
2
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Wadden Sea Research Station, 25992 List/Sylt, Germany
3
Institute of Geosciences, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, 24118 Kiel, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 9 June 2018 / Published: 12 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological Seafloor Mapping)
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Abstract

Backscatter mosaics based on a multi-frequency multibeam echosounder survey in the continental shelf setting of the North Sea were compared. The uncalibrated backscatter data were recorded with frequencies of 200, 400 and 600 kHz. The results showed that the seafloor appears mostly featureless in acoustic backscatter mosaics derived from 600 kHz data. The same area surveyed with 200 kHz reveals numerous backscatter anomalies with diameters of 10–70 m deviating between −2 dB and +4 dB from the background sediment. Backscatter anomalies were further subdivided based on their frequency-specific texture and were attributed to bioturbation within the sediment and the presence of polychaetes on the seafloor. While low frequencies show the highest overall contrast between different seafloor types, a consideration of all frequencies permits an improved interpretation of subtle seafloor features. View Full-Text
Keywords: multibeam echosounder; backscatter; multi-frequency; benthic habitats; North Sea multibeam echosounder; backscatter; multi-frequency; benthic habitats; North Sea
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Feldens, P.; Schulze, I.; Papenmeier, S.; Schönke, M.; Schneider von Deimling, J. Improved Interpretation of Marine Sedimentary Environments Using Multi-Frequency Multibeam Backscatter Data. Geosciences 2018, 8, 214.

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