Methodology

The SeaMap Tasmania project employs a variety of methodologies to collect data which is utilised in making of the marine habitat maps. Each of these technologies is described independently on the tab on the left. The primary goal for habitat mapping is to accurately identify the spatial location, extent and characteristics of differing habitats on the seafloor.

It should be noted that hydro acoustic survey techniques do not directly observe marine habitats, but the data they collect can be used as a surrogate to identify differing habitats. For the purposes of benthic habitat mapping, broad scale hydro acoutic surveys generally fall into the realm of Multibeam bathymetry and sidescan sonar.

Spatial characterisation representation is carried out by means of broad scale acoustic and electro-acoustic mapping tools, such as depth measurements, and satellite and aerial photography and fine scale characterisation using geotechnical sampling methods such as grabs and coring.

The ultimate goal of a habitat mapping project is to generate a classified map of the various habitats in the survey area. A long standing goal is to create a rigorous automated classification system. The success of such a system requires good quality data inputs. Through SeaMap Tasmania a lot of research and development is invested to assess the application of a variety of technologies to accuractly map the seabed.