Project Highlights

Deep Sea Vehicles

Generating Wide Area Benthic Visualization for the Global Seamounts Project with the Ocean Explorer 6000

The Global Seamounts Project (GSP) proposes to estimate measures of biodiversity, such as biomass and species abundance, over wide areas of benthic seamount terrain as a component of input into GSP ecosystem models, through use of geomorphic proxies.

This proposed approach from Jesse van der Grient, PhD and Orhun Aydin, PhD, one of many scientific contributions to the GSP, describes recent developments in the use of biophysical proxies to estimate deep-sea benthic biodiversity and structure. Testing and validation of biophysical proxies derived from benthic substrate image visualization, calibrated with lab analysis of samples, requires a substantial volume of visual data and data processing.

This method poses a challenge for processing very large datasets of visual information, incorporating direct and indirect measurements of the environment, to predict biological indicators. A statistical machine learning approach is proposed to enable classification tools that can predict the composition of benthic biological communities based on analysis of wide-area high-resolution photographic transects of selected seamount terrain.

Global Oceans’ recent acquisition of the 6000-meter Ocean Explorer 6000 Towed Sonar Vehicle, and our plan to rebuild the system with high resolution cameras, video, multibeam sonar, and precision control, will enable the collection of wide-area visual data at depth for the GSP project.

Read more about this proposed approach in the GSP Program Highlights section here.