Over the past decade we have witnessed the emergence of the field of benthic habitat mapping, driven by the rapid evolution in the level of sophistication in our ability to image and map the seafloor environment. As acoustic survey tools have become ever more complex, new methods have been tested to segment, classify and combine these data with biological ground truth sample data to generate benthic habitat maps to meet the needs of a wide range of end users.
McGregor offers specialist expertise in this field of work, and through the application of innovative data analysis techniques we integrate data from across our core hydrographic, geophysical and environmental services to provide map products reflecting spatial patterns in benthic biological and surficial geological characteristics.
We apply a range of approaches to generate thematic maps to best meet our client's needs, using various state-of-the-art backscatter and bathymetric classification tools to process and segment the seafloor acoustic data. These are ground truthed using our extensive suite of benthic sampling and imaging tools, to generate the final map products.
The products we generate include, but are not limited to:
. Baseline benthic habitat maps
. Species-specific habitat maps
. "Benthoscape" maps
. Surficial geology maps
. Classified multibeam and sidescan sonar backscatter maps