Seafloor habitat mapping: Ocean technology solutions to a global challenge
Craig J. Brown.
Applied Research, Nova Scotia Community College, Ivany Campus, 80 Mawiomi Place, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 0A5, Canada
Globally, less than 10% of the ocean floor is mapped at a comparable resolution to that achieved using satellite methods on land. We have better maps of the surface of the moon than we have for the vast majority of the ocean floor. However, innovation continues to advance ocean technologies in this field, and we now have established and emerging instruments capable of mapping the seafloor at meter, sub-meter and even centimeter resolutions (e.g. multibeam echosounders, synthetic aperture sonar, and ultra-high resolution underwater video systems). Advances in big-data analytics, geographic information systems, and data visualization techniques are also facilitating the way that different types of data can be integrated to generate different types of seafloor maps for various end-use applications (e.g. fisheries, conservation, marine spatial planning).
The Applied Oceans Research Group (AORG) at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) works closely with Canadian-based companies, federal and provincial government departments, and other academic institutions to provide innovative applied research solutions in the area of integrated ocean mapping technologies. Case study examples of recent projects will be presented to illustrate advances in this field of research.
About Dr. Brown:
Dr. Craig J. Brown is an NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Integrated Ocean Mapping Technologies at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Over the past 2 decades, his research has focused on the application of seafloor acoustics for studying, mapping and monitoring seabed ecosystems.