Special Issue "Marine Geomorphometry"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Vanessa Lucieer

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Tasmania 7000, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: benthic habitat mapping; multibeam bathymetry; acoustic backscatter; GEOBIA; geomorphometry; spatial analysis
Guest Editor
Dr. Margaret Dolan

Geological Survey of Norway
Website | E-Mail
Interests: seabed mapping; multibeam data; terrain analysis; benthic habitat mapping; spatial analysis; geomorphometry
Guest Editor
Dr. Vincent Lecours

Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32653, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: GIS; remote sensing; habitat mapping; geomorphometry; spatial data quality; image analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Geomorphometry, the science of quantitative terrain analysis, originated in terrestrial investigations; however, many of the methods used in these investigations have also proven applicable in marine environments. The rise in the acquisition of high-resolution seabed data using acoustic systems and bathymetric LiDAR has prompted a growing interest in employing geomorphometric techniques to investigate the seafloor.

The aim of this Special Issue of Geosciences is to showcase quantitative geomorphological analysis techniques for geoscientific research and investigation of the seafloor. We invite contributions addressing all aspects of marine geomorphometry, from data collection and processing to the derivation of terrain attributes/features and their use in an applied context. Relevant topics for this Special Issue include, but are not limited to, new methods for terrain characterization and classification, 3D geomorphometric visualizations, the links between seafloor topography and processes occurring in the surrounding marine environment (water column, sub-surface), and issues related to spatial scale and data quality. We welcome applied studies using marine geomorphometry as part of their workflow (e.g., habitat mapping, geomorphology, geohazards modelling, submarine archaeology). Technical review articles, and submissions reviewing the challenges faced by this thriving field of research are also welcomed.

Dr. Vanessa Lucieer
Dr. Margaret Dolan
Dr. Vincent Lecours
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • GIS
  • seabed mapping
  • marine geology
  • spatial analysis
  • marine processes
  • spatial scale
  • submarine topography
  • seafloor remote sensing
  • marine geomorphology
  • geomorphometry
  • terrain analysis
  • bathymetry
  • structure-from-motion
  • multibeam echosounder
  • bathymetric lidar

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Open AccessArticle Bathymetry and Canyons of the Eastern Bering Sea Slope
Geosciences 2018, 8(5), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8050184
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Abstract
We created a new, 100 m horizontal resolution bathymetry raster and used it to define 29 canyons of the eastern Bering Sea (EBS) slope area off of Alaska, USA. To create this bathymetry surface we proofed, edited, and digitized 18 million soundings from
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We created a new, 100 m horizontal resolution bathymetry raster and used it to define 29 canyons of the eastern Bering Sea (EBS) slope area off of Alaska, USA. To create this bathymetry surface we proofed, edited, and digitized 18 million soundings from over 200 individual sources. Despite the vast size (~1250 km long by ~3000 m high) and ecological significance of the EBS slope, there have been few hydrographic-quality charting cruises conducted in this area, so we relied mostly on uncalibrated underway files from cruises of convenience. The lack of hydrographic quality surveys, anecdotal reports of features such as pinnacles, and reliance on satellite altimetry data has created confusion in previous bathymetric compilations about the details along the slope, such as the shape and location of canyons along the edge of the slope, and hills and valleys on the adjacent shelf area. A better model of the EBS slope will be useful for geologists, oceanographers, and biologists studying the seafloor geomorphology and the unusually high productivity along this poorly understood seafloor feature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Multiscale and Hierarchical Classification for Benthic Habitat Mapping
Geosciences 2018, 8(4), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8040119
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 30 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
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Abstract
Developing quantitative and objective approaches to integrate multibeam echosounder (MBES) data with ground observations for predictive modelling is essential for ensuring repeatability and providing confidence measures for benthic habitat mapping. The scale of predictors within predictive models directly influences habitat distribution maps, therefore
[...] Read more.
Developing quantitative and objective approaches to integrate multibeam echosounder (MBES) data with ground observations for predictive modelling is essential for ensuring repeatability and providing confidence measures for benthic habitat mapping. The scale of predictors within predictive models directly influences habitat distribution maps, therefore matching the scale of predictors to the scale of environmental drivers is key to improving model accuracy. This study uses a multi-scalar and hierarchical classification approach to improve the accuracy of benthic habitat maps. We used a 700-km2 region surrounding Cape Otway in Southeast Australia with full MBES data coverage to conduct this study. Additionally, over 180 linear kilometers of towed video data collected in this area were classified using a hierarchical classification approach. Using a machine learning approach, Random Forests, we combined MBES bathymetry, backscatter, towed video and wave exposure to model the distribution of biotic classes at three hierarchical levels. Confusion matrix results indicated that greater numbers of classes within the hierarchy led to lower model accuracy. Broader scale predictors were generally favored across all three hierarchical levels. This study demonstrates the benefits of testing predictor scales across multiple hierarchies for benthic habitat characterization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Acoustic Imaging Geometry on the Fidelity of Seabed Bathymetric Models
Geosciences 2018, 8(4), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8040109
Received: 4 March 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
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Abstract
Attributes derived from digital bathymetric models (DBM) are a powerful means of analyzing seabed characteristics. Those models however are inherently constrained by the method of seabed sampling. Most bathymetric models are derived by collating a number of discrete corridors of multibeam sonar data.
[...] Read more.
Attributes derived from digital bathymetric models (DBM) are a powerful means of analyzing seabed characteristics. Those models however are inherently constrained by the method of seabed sampling. Most bathymetric models are derived by collating a number of discrete corridors of multibeam sonar data. Within each corridor the data are collected over a wide range of distances, azimuths and elevation angles and thus the quality varies significantly. That variability therefore becomes imprinted into the DBM. Subsequent users of the DBM, unfamiliar with the original acquisition geometry, may potentially misinterpret such variability as attributes of the seabed. This paper examines the impact on accuracy and resolution of the resultant derived model as a function of the imaging geometry. This can be broken down into the range, angle, azimuth, density and overlap attributes. These attributes in turn are impacted by the sonar configuration including beam widths, beam spacing, bottom detection algorithms, stabilization strategies, platform speed and stability. Superimposed over the imaging geometry are residual effects due to imperfect integration of ancillary sensors. As the platform (normally a surface vessel), is moving with characteristic motions resulting from the ocean wave spectrum, periodic residuals in the seafloor can become imprinted that may again be misinterpreted as geomorphological information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Origin of High Density Seabed Pockmark Fields and Their Use in Inferring Bottom Currents
Geosciences 2018, 8(6), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8060195
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
Some of the highest density pockmark fields in the world have been observed on the northwest Australian continental shelf (>700/km2) where they occur in muddy, organic-rich sediment around carbonate banks and paleochannels. Here we developed a semi-automated method to map and
[...] Read more.
Some of the highest density pockmark fields in the world have been observed on the northwest Australian continental shelf (>700/km2) where they occur in muddy, organic-rich sediment around carbonate banks and paleochannels. Here we developed a semi-automated method to map and quantify the form and density of these pockmark fields (~220,000 pockmarks) and characterise their geochemical, sedimentological and biological properties to provide insight into their formative processes. These data indicate that pockmarks formed due to the release of gas derived from the breakdown of near-surface organic material, with gas accumulation aided by the sealing properties of the sediments. Sources of organic matter include adjacent carbonate banks and buried paleochannels. Polychaetes biodiversity appears to be affected negatively by the conditions surrounding dense pockmark fields since higher biodiversity is associated with low density fields. While regional bi-directionality of pockmark scours corresponds to modelled tidal flow, localised scattering around banks suggests turbulence. This multi-scale information therefore suggests that pockmark scours can act as proxy for bottom currents, which could help to inform modelling of benthic biodiversity patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Geomorphometric Characterization of Pockmarks by Using a GIS-Based Semi-Automated Toolbox
Geosciences 2018, 8(5), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8050154
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (14525 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Pockmarks are seabed depressions developed by fluid flow processes that can be found in vast numbers in many marine and lacustrine environments. Manual mapping of these features based on geophysical data is, however, extremely time-consuming and subjective. Here, we present results from a
[...] Read more.
Pockmarks are seabed depressions developed by fluid flow processes that can be found in vast numbers in many marine and lacustrine environments. Manual mapping of these features based on geophysical data is, however, extremely time-consuming and subjective. Here, we present results from a semi-automated mapping toolbox developed to allow more efficient and objective mapping of pockmarks. This ArcGIS-based toolbox recognizes, spatially delineates, and morphometrically describes pockmarks. Since it was first developed, the toolbox has helped to map and characterize several thousands of pockmarks on the UK continental shelf, especially within the central North Sea. This paper presents the latest developments in the functionality of the toolbox and its adaptability for application to other geographic areas (Barents Sea, Norway, and Malin Deep, Ireland) with varied pockmark and seabed morphologies, and in different geological settings. The morphometric characterization of vast numbers of pockmarks allows an unprecedented statistical analysis of their morphology. The outputs from the toolbox provide an objective, quantitative baseline for combining this information with the geological and oceanographical knowledge of individual areas, which can provide further insights into the processes responsible for their development and their influence on local seabed conditions and habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessConcept Paper The Nippon Foundation—GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project: The Quest to See the World’s Oceans Completely Mapped by 2030
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020063
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 3 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (12812 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite many of years of mapping effort, only a small fraction of the world ocean’s seafloor has been sampled for depth, greatly limiting our ability to explore and understand critical ocean and seafloor processes. Recognizing this poor state of our knowledge of ocean
[...] Read more.
Despite many of years of mapping effort, only a small fraction of the world ocean’s seafloor has been sampled for depth, greatly limiting our ability to explore and understand critical ocean and seafloor processes. Recognizing this poor state of our knowledge of ocean depths and the critical role such knowledge plays in understanding and maintaining our planet, GEBCO and the Nippon Foundation have joined forces to establish the Nippon Foundation GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project, an international effort with the objective of facilitating the complete mapping of the world ocean by 2030. The Seabed 2030 Project will establish globally distributed regional data assembly and coordination centers (RDACCs) that will identify existing data from their assigned regions that are not currently in publicly available databases and seek to make these data available. They will develop protocols for data collection (including resolution goals) and common software and other tools to assemble and attribute appropriate metadata as they assimilate regional grids using standardized techniques. A Global Data Assembly and Coordination Center (GDACC) will integrate the regional grids into a global grid and distribute to users world-wide. The GDACC will also act as the central focal point for the coordination of common data standards and processing tools as well as the outreach coordinator for Seabed 2030 efforts. The GDACC and RDACCs will collaborate with existing data centers and bathymetric compilation efforts. Finally, the Nippon Foundation GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project will encourage and help coordinate and track new survey efforts and facilitate the development of new and innovative technologies that can increase the efficiency of seafloor mapping and thus make the ambitious goals of Seabed 2030 more likely to be achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Characteristics and Dynamics of a Large Sub-Tidal Sand Wave Field—Habitat for Pacific Sand Lance (Ammodytes personatus), Salish Sea, Washington, USA
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7040107
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
Deep-water sand wave fields in the San Juan Archipelago of the Salish Sea and Pacific Northwest Washington, USA, have been found to harbor Pacific sand lance (PSL, Ammodytes personatus), a critical forage fish of the region. Little is known of the dynamics
[...] Read more.
Deep-water sand wave fields in the San Juan Archipelago of the Salish Sea and Pacific Northwest Washington, USA, have been found to harbor Pacific sand lance (PSL, Ammodytes personatus), a critical forage fish of the region. Little is known of the dynamics of these sand waves and the stability of the PSL sub-tidal habitats. Therefore, we have undertaken an initial investigation to determine the dynamic conditions of a well-known PSL habitat in the San Juan Channel within the Archipelago using bottom sediment sampling, an acoustical doppler current profiling (ADCP) system, and multi-beam echo sounder (MBES) bathymetry. Our study indicates that the San Juan Channel sand wave field maintained its shape and bedforms geometry throughout the years it has been studied. Based on bed phase diagrams for channelized bedforms, the sand waves appear to be in a dynamic equilibrium condition. Sea level rise may change the current regime within the Archipelago and may alter some of the deep-water or sub-tidal PSL habitats mapped there. Our findings have global significance in that these dynamic bedforms that harbor PSL and sand-eels elsewhere along the west coast of North America and in the North Sea may also be in a marginally dynamic equilibrium condition and may be prone to alteration by sea level rise, indicating an urgency in locating and investigating these habitats in order to sustain the forage fish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle The Morphometry of the Deep-Water Sinuous Mendocino Channel and the Immediate Environs, Northeastern Pacific Ocean
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7040124
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 6 November 2017 / Accepted: 6 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (23228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mendocino Channel, a deep-water sinuous channel located along the base of Gorda Escarpment, was for the first time completely mapped with a multibeam echosounder. This study uses newly acquired multibeam bathymetry and backscatter, together with supporting multichannel seismic and sediment core data to
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Mendocino Channel, a deep-water sinuous channel located along the base of Gorda Escarpment, was for the first time completely mapped with a multibeam echosounder. This study uses newly acquired multibeam bathymetry and backscatter, together with supporting multichannel seismic and sediment core data to quantitatively describe the morphometry of the entire Mendocino Channel and to explore the age and possible causes that may have contributed to the formation and maintenance of the channel. The first 42 km of the channel is a linear reach followed for the next 83.8 km by a sinuous reach. The sinuous reach has a sinuosity index of 1.66 before it changes back to a linear reach for the next 22.2 km. A second sinuous reach is 40.2 km long and the two reaches are separated by a crevasse splay and a large landslide that deflected the channel northwest towards Gorda Basin. Both sinuous reaches have oxbow bends, cut-off meanders, interior and exterior terraces and extensive levee systems. The lower sinuous reach becomes more linear for the next 22.2 km before the channel relief falls below the resolution of the data. Levees suddenly decrease in height above the channel floor mid-way along the lower linear reach close to where the channel makes a 90° turn to the southwest. The entire channel floor is smooth at the resolution of the data and only two large mounds and one large sediment pile were found on the channel floor. The bathymetry and acoustic backscatter, together with previously collected seismic data and box and piston cores provide details to suggest Mendocino Channel may be no older than early Quaternary. A combination of significant and numerous earthquakes and wave-loading resuspension by storms are the most likely processes that generated turbidity currents that have formed and modified Mendocino Channel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Development of a Seamless, High-Resolution Bathymetric Model to Compare Reef Morphology around the Subtropical Island Shelves of Lord Howe Island and Balls Pyramid, Southwest Pacific Ocean
Geosciences 2018, 8(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8010011
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 23 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
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Abstract
Lord Howe Island and Balls Pyramid are located approximately 600 km offshore of the southeastern Australian mainland, in the subtropical waters of the northern Tasman Sea. Lord Howe Island hosts the most southern coral reef in the Pacific Ocean, and the shelves surrounding
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Lord Howe Island and Balls Pyramid are located approximately 600 km offshore of the southeastern Australian mainland, in the subtropical waters of the northern Tasman Sea. Lord Howe Island hosts the most southern coral reef in the Pacific Ocean, and the shelves surrounding both islands feature fossil coral reefs. This study creates a seamless, high-resolution (5 m cell size) bathymetry model of the two shelves to compare and contrast the extent of reef development and shelf morphology. This was produced by integrating satellite-derived depth data (derived to 35 m depth) and multibeam echosounder (MBES) data. Image partitioning and filtering improved the accuracy of the bathymetry estimates and the suitability for integration with MBES data. Diverse accretionary and erosional geomorphic features were mapped on both shelves, with fossil reefs dominating the shelves in 25–50 m depth. Similar patterns of shelf morphology were observed for the middle and outer shelves, while the inner shelf regions were most dissimilar, with reef development greater around Lord Howe Island compared to the more restricted inner shelf reefs around Balls Pyramid. Understanding the relative extent and morphology of shelf features provides insights into the geological and ecological processes that have influenced the formation of the shelves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle A Bathymetry- and Reflectivity-Based Approach for Seafloor Segmentation
Geosciences 2018, 8(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8010014
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 29 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 8 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (7336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A robust and flexible technique to segment seafloor acoustic mapping data by analyzing co-located bathymetric digital elevation models and acoustic backscatter mosaics is presented. The algorithm first uses principles of topographic openness, pattern recognition, and texture classification to identify geomorphic elements of the
[...] Read more.
A robust and flexible technique to segment seafloor acoustic mapping data by analyzing co-located bathymetric digital elevation models and acoustic backscatter mosaics is presented. The algorithm first uses principles of topographic openness, pattern recognition, and texture classification to identify geomorphic elements of the seafloor or “area kernels”, and then derives the final seafloor segmentation by merging or splitting the kernels based on principles of similarity and multi-modality. The output is a collection of homogeneous, non-overlapping seafloor segments of consistent morphology and acoustic backscatter texture. Each labeled segment is enriched by a list of derived, physically-meaningful attributes that can be used for subsequent task-specific analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Realistic Paleobathymetry of the Cenomanian–Turonian (94 Ma) Boundary Global Ocean
Geosciences 2018, 8(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8010021
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Abstract
At present, global paleoclimate simulations are prepared with bathtub-like, flat, featureless and steep walled ocean bathymetry, which is neither realistic nor suitable. In this article, we present the first enhanced version of a reconstructed paleobathymetry for Cenomanian–Turonian (94 Ma) time in a 0.1°
[...] Read more.
At present, global paleoclimate simulations are prepared with bathtub-like, flat, featureless and steep walled ocean bathymetry, which is neither realistic nor suitable. In this article, we present the first enhanced version of a reconstructed paleobathymetry for Cenomanian–Turonian (94 Ma) time in a 0.1° × 0.1° resolution, that is both realistic and suitable for use in paleo-climate studies. This reconstruction is an extrapolation of a parameterized modern ocean bathymetry that combines simple geophysical models (standard plate cooling model for the oceanic lithosphere) based on ocean crustal age, global modern oceanic sediment thicknesses, and generalized shelf-slope-rise structures calibrated from a published global relief model of the modern world (ETOPO1) at active and passive continental margins. The base version of this Cenomanian–Turonian paleobathymetry reconstruction is then updated with known submarine large igneous provinces, plateaus, and seamounts to minimize the difference between the reconstructed paleobathymetry and the real bathymetry that once existed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle An Automatic Procedure for the Quantitative Characterization of Submarine Bedforms
Geosciences 2018, 8(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8010028
Received: 22 November 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 21 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (109265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A model for the extraction and quantitative characterization of submarine landforms from high-resolution digital bathymetry is presented. The procedure is fully automated and comprises two parts. The first part consists of an analytical model which extracts quantitative information from a Digital Elevation Model
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A model for the extraction and quantitative characterization of submarine landforms from high-resolution digital bathymetry is presented. The procedure is fully automated and comprises two parts. The first part consists of an analytical model which extracts quantitative information from a Digital Elevation Model in the form of objects with similar parametric characteristics (terrain objects). The second part is a rule-based model where the terrain objects are reclassified into distinct landforms with well-defined three dimensional characteristics. For the focus of this work, the quantitative characterization of isolated dunes (height greater than 2 m) is used to exemplify the process. The primary metrics used to extract terrain objects are the flatness threshold and the search radius, which are then used by the analytical model to identify the feature type. Once identified as dunes, a sequence of spatial analysis routines is applied to identify and compute metrics for each dune including length, height, width, ray of curvature, slope analysis for each stoss and lee side, and dune symmetry. Dividing the model into two parts, one scale-dependent and another centered around the shape of the landform, makes the model applicable to other submarine landforms like ripples, mega-ripples, and coral reefs, which also have well-defined three-dimensional characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Shape and Size Complexity of Deep Seafloor Mounds on the Canary Basin (West to Canary Islands, Eastern Atlantic): A DEM-Based Geomorphometric Analysis of Domes and Volcanoes
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020037
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5613 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Derived digital elevation models (DEMs) are high-resolution acoustic technology that has proven to be a crucial morphometric data source for research into submarine environments. We present a morphometric analysis of forty deep seafloor edifices located to the west of Canary Islands, using a
[...] Read more.
Derived digital elevation models (DEMs) are high-resolution acoustic technology that has proven to be a crucial morphometric data source for research into submarine environments. We present a morphometric analysis of forty deep seafloor edifices located to the west of Canary Islands, using a 150 m resolution bathymetric DEM. These seafloor structures are characterized as hydrothermal domes and volcanic edifices, based on a previous study, and they are also morphostructurally categorized into five types of edifice following an earlier classification. Edifice outline contours were manually delineated and the morphometric variables quantifying slope, size and shape of the edifices were then calculated using ArcGIS Analyst tools. In addition, we performed a principal component analysis (PCA) where ten morphometric variables explain 84% of the total variance in edifice morphology. Most variables show a large spread and some overlap, with clear separations between the types of mounds. Based on these analyses, a morphometric growth model is proposed for both the hydrothermal domes and volcanic edifices. The model takes into account both the size and shape complexity of these seafloor structures. Grow occurs via two distinct pathways: the volcanoes predominantly grow upwards, becoming large cones, while the domes preferentially increase in volume through enlargement of the basal area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Mapping of Cold-Water Coral Carbonate Mounds Based on Geomorphometric Features: An Object-Based Approach
Geosciences 2018, 8(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8020034
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3592 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cold-water coral reefs are rich, yet fragile ecosystems found in colder oceanic waters. Knowledge of their spatial distribution on continental shelves, slopes, seamounts and ridge systems is vital for marine spatial planning and conservation. Cold-water corals frequently form conspicuous carbonate mounds of varying
[...] Read more.
Cold-water coral reefs are rich, yet fragile ecosystems found in colder oceanic waters. Knowledge of their spatial distribution on continental shelves, slopes, seamounts and ridge systems is vital for marine spatial planning and conservation. Cold-water corals frequently form conspicuous carbonate mounds of varying sizes, which are identifiable from multibeam echosounder bathymetry and derived geomorphometric attributes. However, the often-large number of mounds makes manual interpretation and mapping a tedious process. We present a methodology that combines image segmentation and random forest spatial prediction with the aim to derive maps of carbonate mounds and an associated measure of confidence. We demonstrate our method based on multibeam echosounder data from Iverryggen on the mid-Norwegian shelf. We identified the image-object mean planar curvature as the most important predictor. The presence and absence of carbonate mounds is mapped with high accuracy. Spatially-explicit confidence in the predictions is derived from the predicted probability and whether the predictions are within or outside the modelled range of values and is generally high. We plan to apply the showcased method to other areas of the Norwegian continental shelf and slope where multibeam echosounder data have been collected with the aim to provide crucial information for marine spatial planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Seabed Morphology and Sedimentary Regimes defining Fishing Grounds along the Eastern Brazilian Shelf
Geosciences 2018, 8(3), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8030091
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 3 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
Shelf morphology and sedimentary regimes are influenced by processes operating at different temporal and spatial scales and are important records of sea level changes and sediment supply and/or carbonate production. The northern continental shelf of Espírito Santo (Brazil) contains evidence of different sedimentary
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Shelf morphology and sedimentary regimes are influenced by processes operating at different temporal and spatial scales and are important records of sea level changes and sediment supply and/or carbonate production. The northern continental shelf of Espírito Santo (Brazil) contains evidence of different sedimentary regimes that distribute diverse and complex marine habitats. Herein, seabed morphology, acoustic images of the seafloor (side scan sonar and sub-bottom profiler), and sediment samples were used to investigate the influence of sedimentary regimes on physical marine habitat distribution. Seabed mapping is also integrated with available data on fisheries to understand the influence of shelf morphology and sedimentology in the usage of distinct fishing gears. The results indicate five morpho-sedimentary facies: terrigenous mud, terrigenous sand, rhodolith beds, carbonate gravel with rhodoliths, and hardground. Through an integrated analysis of the geomorphology and sedimentary distribution, two morpho-sedimentary domains were identified: a sediment-fed shelf adjacent to the Doce River associated with a major mud depocenter and a delta front morphology characterized by gentle slopes and low terrain ruggedness, and a sediment-starved shelf dominated by carbonate sedimentation showing an irregular morphology associated with higher slopes and terrain ruggedness. These contrasting morpho-sedimentary domains are a result of sedimentary responses to sea level fluctuation during Late Quaternary, specially, during the deglaciation processes after the Last Glacial Maximum. The morphological and sedimentary contrasts along the area define the physical habitat distribution. The sediment supply regime area is associated with a terrigenous fine/muddy sedimentation bed, which control the local morphology and favors coastal and delta front progradation. This physical habitat is a well-known shrimp-fishing ground where intense trawling takes place, as well as gillnet fisheries targeting weakfish and croakers. The accommodation regime or low sediment influx area is characterized by carbonate sedimentation associated with hardgrounds and rhodolith beds. In contrast, this physical habitat with scarce sediment supply, facilitates extensive benthic colonization by crustose coralline algae (CCA), which is primarily associated to line fisheries, longlines, and spearfishing. Rhodoliths show a high diversity of CCA and the occurrence of an endemic kelp species. Long-term processes such as relative sea level fluctuations and sediment supply are a legacy for the distribution of benthic habitats, and their resulting morphology can be a surrogate for predicting fishing activities or a first-base analysis for marine spatial planning. Available low-resolution bathymetric datasets can be a powerful tool, if applied with caution and in a regional scale approach. Here, terrain variables (terrain slope and ruggedness) derived from an extensive available (low-resolution and interpolated) bathymetric dataset distinguished two contrasting morphological domains characterized by rugged and smooth/flat seabeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Unified Geomorphological Analysis Workflows with Benthic Terrain Modeler
Geosciences 2018, 8(3), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8030094
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2018 / Accepted: 8 March 2018 / Published: 11 March 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (24271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
High resolution remotely sensed bathymetric data is rapidly increasing in volume, but analyzing this data requires a mastery of a complex toolchain of disparate software, including computing derived measurements of the environment. Bathymetric gradients play a fundamental role in energy transport through the
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High resolution remotely sensed bathymetric data is rapidly increasing in volume, but analyzing this data requires a mastery of a complex toolchain of disparate software, including computing derived measurements of the environment. Bathymetric gradients play a fundamental role in energy transport through the seascape. Benthic Terrain Modeler (BTM) uses bathymetric data to enable simple characterization of benthic biotic communities and geologic types, and produces a collection of key geomorphological variables known to affect marine ecosystems and processes. BTM has received continual improvements since its 2008 release; here we describe the tools and morphometrics BTM can produce, the research context which this enables, and we conclude with an example application using data from a protected reef in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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Open AccessArticle Geomorphology and Late Pleistocene–Holocene Sedimentary Processes of the Eastern Gulf of Finland
Geosciences 2018, 8(3), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8030102
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 18 March 2018
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Abstract
In 2017, a detailed study of the Eastern Gulf of Finland (the Baltic Sea) seafloor was performed to identify and map submerged glacial and postglacial geomorphologic features and collect data pertinent to the understanding of sedimentation in postglacial basins. Two key areas within
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In 2017, a detailed study of the Eastern Gulf of Finland (the Baltic Sea) seafloor was performed to identify and map submerged glacial and postglacial geomorphologic features and collect data pertinent to the understanding of sedimentation in postglacial basins. Two key areas within the Gulf were investigate using a multibeam echosounder, SeaBat 8111 and an EdgeTech 3300-HM acoustic sub-bottom profiling system. High-resolution multibeam bathymetric data (3-m resolution) were used to calculate aspect, slope, terrain ruggedness and bathymetric position index using ArcGIS Spatial Analyst and the Benthic Terrain Modeler toolbox. These data and resultant thematic maps revealed, for the first time, such features as streamlined till ridges, end-moraine ridges, and De Geer moraines that are being used for the reconstruction of the deglaciation in the Eastern Gulf of Finland. This deglaciation occurred between 13.8 and 13.3 ka BP (Pandivere–Neva stage) and 12.25 ka BP (Salpausselkä I stage). Interpretations of the seismic-reflection profiles and 3D models showing the surfaces of till, and the identification of the Late Pleistocene sediment and modern bottom relief, indicate deep relative water-level fall in the Early Holocene and, most likely, several water-level fluctuations during this time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Geomorphometry)
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