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Techniques for Classifying Seabed Morphology and Composition on a Subtropical-Temperate Continental Shelf

Waters, Wetlands and Coasts, Science Division, New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, 59-61 Goulburn St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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Geosciences 2019, 9(3), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9030141
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological Seafloor Mapping)
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Abstract

In 2017, the New South Wales (NSW) Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) initiated a state-wide mapping program, SeaBed NSW, which systematically acquires high-resolution (2–5 m cell size) multibeam echosounder (MBES) and marine LiDAR data along more than 2000 km of the subtropical-to-temperate southeast Australian continental shelf. This program considerably expands upon existing efforts by OEH to date, which have mapped approximately 15% of NSW waters with these technologies. The delivery of high volumes of new data, together with the vast repository of existing data, highlights the need for a standardised, automated approach to classify seabed data. Here we present a methodological approach with new procedures to semi-automate the classification of high-resolution bathymetry and intensity (backscatter and reflectivity) data into a suite of data products including classifications of seabed morphology (landforms) and composition (substrates, habitats, geomorphology). These methodologies are applied to two case study areas representing newer (Wollongong, NSW) and older (South Solitary Islands, NSW) MBES datasets to assess the transferability of classification techniques across input data of varied quality. The suite of seabed classifications produced by this study provide fundamental baseline data on seabed shape, complexity, and composition which will inform regional risk assessments and provide insights into biodiversity and geodiversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: DEMs; feature classification; geomorphology; geomorphometry; habitat mapping; landforms; marine LiDAR; multibeam echosounder; substrate DEMs; feature classification; geomorphology; geomorphometry; habitat mapping; landforms; marine LiDAR; multibeam echosounder; substrate
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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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Linklater, M.; Ingleton, T.C.; Kinsela, M.A.; Morris, B.D.; Allen, K.M.; Sutherland, M.D.; Hanslow, D.J. Techniques for Classifying Seabed Morphology and Composition on a Subtropical-Temperate Continental Shelf. Geosciences 2019, 9, 141.

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