An overview of seabed-mapping technologies in the context of marine habitat classification

A. J. Kenny, I. Cato, M. Desprez, G. Fader, R. T E Schüttenhelm, J. Side

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

    374 Citations (Scopus)


    A wide range of seabed-mapping technologies is reviewed in respect to their effectiveness in discriminating benthic habitats at different spatial scales. Of the seabed attributes considered important in controlling the benthic community of marine sands and gravel, sediment grain size, porosity or shear strength, and sediment dynamics were highlighted as the most important. Whilst no one mapping system can quantify all these attributes at the same time, some may be estimated by skilful interpretation of the remotely sensed data. For example, seabed processes or features, such as bedform migration, scour, slope failure, and gas venting are readily detectable by many of the mapping systems, and these characteristics in turn can be used to assist a habitat classification (and monitoring) of the seabed. We tabulate the relationship between "rapid" continental shelf sedimentological processes, the seabed attributes affecting these processes, and the most suitable mapping system to employ for their detection at different spatial scales. © 2003 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)411-418
    Number of pages8
    JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003


    • Seabed-mapping technologies
    • Single-beam system
    • Swath system


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