Substrate Classification

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BioSonics Scientific Echosounders used in combination with BioSonics Visual Habitat or VBT (Visual Bottom Typer) data processing software provide the ability to classify and map different substrate types such as sand, mud, cobble, rock . These methods enable researchers to rapidly and easily identify habitat area and monitor changes in the bottom due to heterogenic impacts and other activities.

Substrate Classification

Mobile surveys can be conducted from virtually any size watercraft in depths as shallow as one meter. As transects are driven over the study area, the echosounder system automatically records bottom depth and sediment characteristics. The data collected is time-stamped, geo-referenced and digitally stored. Surveys are often conducted by a single operator and do not require sophisticated training.

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How It Works

Substrate Classification Diagram

Bottom classification is accomplished through analysis of the bottom echo signal using specialized algorithms contained in BioSonics proprietary software programs; VBT and Visual Habitat. The software determines the relative smoothness and hardness of the bottom based on the properties of each echo signal. The software groups or "clusters" echoes with similar properties. All data is geo-referenced using a DGPS during collection, so processed data files contain latitude/longitude, depth, and a bottom type for each sample report. The output files can be produced in ASCII format and readily mapped with GIS applications to produce thematic charts of bathymetry and bottom classification.

Substrate Classification Diagram
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