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Colour Sonar: Multi-Frequency Sidescan Sonar Images of the Seabed in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth, Scotland
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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 31;

On the Sediment Dynamics in a Tidally Energetic Channel: The Inner Sound, Northern Scotland

Centre for Energy and the Environment, Environmental Research Institute, North Highland College UHI, Ormlie Road, Thurso KW14 7EE, UK
Kongsberg Maritime, Underwater Mapping, Shuttleworth Close, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR31 0NQ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jens Martin Hovem
Received: 31 December 2015 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 30 March 2016 / Published: 8 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Acoustics and the Ocean Environment)
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Sediment banks within a fast-flowing tidal channel, the Inner Sound in the Pentland Firth, were mapped using multi-frequency side-scan sonar. This novel technique provides a new tool for seabed sediment and benthic habitat mapping. The sonar data are supplemented by sediment grab and ROV videos. The combined data provide detailed maps of persistent sand and shell banks present in the Sound despite the high energy environment. Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) data and numerical model predictions were used to understand the hydrodynamics of the system. By combining the hydrodynamics and sediment distribution data, we explain the sediment dynamics in the area. Sediment particle shape and density, coupled with persistent features of the hydrodynamics, are the key factors in the distribution of sediment within the channel. Implications for tidal energy development planned for the Sound are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: sediment transport; hydrodynamics; settling rates; tidal energy; Pentland Firth sediment transport; hydrodynamics; settling rates; tidal energy; Pentland Firth

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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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McIlvenny, J.; Tamsett, D.; Gillibrand, P.; Goddijn-Murphy, L. On the Sediment Dynamics in a Tidally Energetic Channel: The Inner Sound, Northern Scotland. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4, 31.

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