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Semi-Automatic Versus Manual Mapping of Cold-Water Coral Carbonate Mounds Located Offshore Norway

Norges geologiske undersøkelse (Geological Survey of Norway), Postboks 6315 Torgarden, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8010040
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GEOBIA in a Changing World)
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Abstract

Cold-water coral reefs are hotspots of biological diversity and play an important role as carbonate factories in the global carbon cycle. Reef-building corals can be found in cold oceanic waters around the world. Detailed knowledge on the spatial location and distribution of coral reefs is of importance for spatial management, conservation and science. Carbonate mounds (reefs) are readily identifiable in high-resolution multibeam echosounder data but systematic mapping programs have relied mostly on visual interpretation and manual digitizing so far. Developing more automated methods will help to reduce the time spent on this laborious task and will additionally lead to more objective and reproducible results. In this paper, we present an attempt at testing whether rule-based classification can replace manual mapping when mapping cold-water coral carbonate mounds. To that end, we have estimated and compared the accuracies of manual mapping, pixel-based terrain analysis and object-based image analysis. To verify the mapping results, we created a reference dataset of presence/absence points agreed upon by three mapping experts. There were no statistically significant differences in the overall accuracies of the maps produced by the three approaches. We conclude that semi-automated rule-based methods might be a viable option for mapping carbonate mounds with high spatial detail over large areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbonate mound; cold-water corals; bathymetry; automatic mapping; manual mapping; classification; map accuracy carbonate mound; cold-water corals; bathymetry; automatic mapping; manual mapping; classification; map accuracy
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Jarna, A.; Baeten, N.J.; Elvenes, S.; Bellec, V.K.; Thorsnes, T.; Diesing, M. Semi-Automatic Versus Manual Mapping of Cold-Water Coral Carbonate Mounds Located Offshore Norway. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 40.

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