From the UNH CCOM/JHC Seminar Series 2011-12. Dr. Chris Roman of the University of Rhode Island presents, "High resolution seafloor mapping for marine geology, marine archeology, and habitat assessment." The talk was given on Friday, October 14, 2011 at UNH's Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory.
Detailed photographic and bathymetric maps of the sea floor created with remote or autonomous vehicles have broad applicability for studies in marine geology, biology and archaeology. This talk will discuss the use of stereo vision, high frequency (1375 kHz) multibeam sonar and structured light laser imaging to create such maps with centimeter level resolution. Comparisons between these sensors have been made in numerous contexts during the 2010 and 2011 field seasons of the Nautilus Ocean Exploration Program (nautiluslive.org). The goal of this work is to create self consistent multi sensor data products that can be directly compared and fused. Results will be shown from our efforts to map submerged archaeological sites and a multi faceted research program at the Kolumbo volcanic crater near Santorini, Greece. Initial tests will also be presented for transferring these methods to a novel Lagrangian imaging float. This low cost platform can collect high resolution imagery and stereo derived bathymetry while drifting with the current and actively controlling its altitude above the bottom. The float has been used to collect data in Rhode Island Sound for the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) ahead of potential wind power developments.