Seafloor Classification

High Resolution satellite imagery for feature extraction

 

TCarta utilizes satellite imagery to create detailed benthic maps in shallow water areas by classifying the seafloor. The TCarta Team has significant experience in not only creating map outputs, but also working closely with our clients to help define map specifications.

 

Background

The benthic zone refers to the region at the bottom of the ocean water body. By employing a range of remote sensing techniques, maps can be categorized into a variety of different features, such as those indicated below, but these features can vary depending upon geographical location.

Seafloor Classification

Benthic maps can be classified into a variety of different features, such as those indicated below, but these features can vary depending upon geographical location.

  • Fringing reef
  • Patch reef
  • Seagrass
  • Macroalgae
  • Unconsolidated
  • Consolidated
  • Rock armoring
  • Mangrove

TCarta’s clients have deployed satellite derived seafloor classification maps for a wide range of coastal applications such as:

  • Oil spill response
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Coastal Developments
  • Aquaculture
  • Baseline inventory

Satellite derived seafloor classification maps serve as a baseline for shallow water and coastal locations, providing an accurate and current environmental inventory. Fragile habitats are accurately quantified, with measured changes depicted through repeat mapping.

Areas belonging to each known habitat of interest are chosen to sample how each area of interest reacts with light in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, known as a ‘spectral response’. TCarta then uses the spectral response information to feed algorithms that are run over the imagery. The outputs are used to reliably predict the pixels in the image that belong to each benthic category.

Map detail

TCarta offers satellite derived benthic map products from various source imagery to suit the needs and budget of our clients. The table below provides an indication of the level of map detail possible, which can be tailored to individual requests.

Imagery DigitalGlobe World View Sentinel-2 Landsat 8
Approximate Map Scale 1:5,000 1:25,000 1:60,000
Suggested Minimum Mapping Unit (MMU) in hectares 1 20 50

Data Formats

TCarta recommends that Seafloor Classification products are delivered in ESRI Geodatabase or ESRI Shapefile formats. The product can also be supplied in raster format, such as GeoTIFF.