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Accounting for uncertainty in volumes of seabed change measured with repeat multibeam sonar surveys

Schimel, Alexandre C.G., Ierodiaconou, Daniel, Hulands, Lachlan and Kennedy, David M. 2015, Accounting for uncertainty in volumes of seabed change measured with repeat multibeam sonar surveys, Continental shelf research, vol. 111, Part A, pp. 52-68, doi: 10.1016/j.csr.2015.10.019.

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Title Accounting for uncertainty in volumes of seabed change measured with repeat multibeam sonar surveys
Author(s) Schimel, Alexandre C.G.
Ierodiaconou, DanielORCID iD for Ierodiaconou, Daniel orcid.org/0000-0002-7832-4801
Hulands, Lachlan
Kennedy, David M.
Journal name Continental shelf research
Volume number 111
Season Part A
Start page 52
End page 68
Total pages 17
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015-12-01
ISSN 0278-4343
1873-6955
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Oceanography
Sedimentation
Erosion
CUBE
Digital Elevation Model
Limit of Detection
DEM of Difference
AUSTRALIAN CONTINENTAL-SHELF
UPPER MONTEREY CANYON
SEDIMENT TRANSPORT
SUBMARINE-CANYON
GRAVEL-BED
RIVER
BATHYMETRY
COAST
RESOLUTION
Summary Seafloors of unconsolidated sediment are highly dynamic features; eroding or accumulating under the action of tides, waves and currents. Assessing which areas of the seafloor experienced change and measuring the corresponding volumes involved provide insights into these important active sedimentation processes. Computing the difference between Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) obtained from repeat Multibeam Echosounders (MBES) surveys has become a common technique to identify these areas, but the uncertainty in these datasets considerably affects the estimation of the volumes displaced. The two main techniques used to take into account uncertainty in volume estimations are the limitation of calculations to areas experiencing a change in depth beyond a chosen threshold, and the computation of volumetric confidence intervals. However, these techniques are still in their infancy and, as a result, are often crude, seldom used or poorly understood. In this article, we explored a number of possible methodological advances to address this issue, including: (1) using the uncertainty information provided by the MBES data processing algorithm CUBE, (2) adapting fluvial geomorphology techniques for volume calculations using spatially variable thresholds and (3) volumetric histograms. The nearshore seabed off Warrnambool harbour - located in the highly energetic southwest Victorian coast, Australia - was used as a test site. Four consecutive MBES surveys were carried out over a four-months period. The difference between consecutive DEMs revealed an area near the beach experiencing large sediment transfers - mostly erosion - and an area of reef experiencing increasing deposition from the advance of a nearby sediment sheet. The volumes of sediment displaced in these two areas were calculated using the techniques described above, both traditionally and using the suggested improvements. We compared the results and discussed the applicability of the new methodological improvements. We found that the spatially variable uncertainty derived from the CUBE algorithm provided the best results (i.e. smaller confidence intervals), but that similar results can be obtained using as a fixed uncertainty value derived from a reference area under a number of operational conditions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.csr.2015.10.019
Field of Research 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
04 Earth Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30080908

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