Marine Habitat Mapping
Marine Habitat Mapping
Vulnerable marine environments benefit from thorough management and planning. Those tasked with this responsibility are better able to preserve and protect our natural maritime surroundings when they have a solid understanding of the distribution, structure and extent of seafloor habitats. Marine habitat mapping provides invaluable information which assists with managing marine environments.
In shallow waters, aerial photography can yield valuable information. However, once the water deepens aerial photography loses its capability for effective habitat mapping. In this case a hydrographic survey must be conducted to glean information about the complex underwater environment.
Habitat mapping results can be produced quickly, efficiently and with no damage to the bottom by using hydrographic surveying instruments positioned on a surface vessel. This method of gathering data is appropriate for use in a variety of different environments.
Why should you use Total Hydrographic to perform habitat mapping for you?
Total Hydrographic have a state of the art Multibeam Echo Sounder (MBES) that is a key tool for habitat mapping. In addition to MBES, a Single Beam Echo Sounder (SBES) with echogram capability, Side Scan Sonar (SSS), underwater video imaging and aerial photography can be integrated to build a robust system for identifying benthic habitats.
Another benefit of using Total Hydrographic for habitat mapping is that you will also receive a certified hydrographic survey that can be used for navigation or other engineering purpose. Scientific mapping often produces a surface model without any accurate connection to a common datum. Total Hydrographic’s surveys are always accurately connected to a common datum. Therefore, changes in habitat can be observed as future surveys can be captured with connection to the same datum. The result of this is accurate monitoring of the seabed to identify what deformation may be taking place.
The Importance of Understanding Benthic Habitats
The term ‘benthic’ refers to anything associated with or occurring on the bottom of a body of water.
Habitat mapping aims to accurately identify and describe the characteristics of different benthic habitats. Using varied and integrated data sets, a comprehensive picture of the underwater habitat can be created.
A properly presented habitat map will reveal the diversity and distribution of the marine habitat. This map can then serve as a useful tool for biological and marine planning and management.
Total Hydrographic’s marine habitat mapping surveys are conducted exclusively by professionally recognised Level 1 and Level 2 Certified Hydrographic Surveyors, assessed by the Australasian Hydrographic Surveyors Certification Panel (AHSCP) through the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute.
A list of certified professionals in hydrographic surveying can be found here.
Contact Total Hydrographic to discuss your Marine Habitat Mapping requirements.