Surface properties of the seabed in a 180 km2 area of coastal waters (14-57 m depth) off northeast Scotland were mapped by hydro-acoustic discrimination using single and multi-beam echosounders linked to signal processing systems (RoxAnn for the single beam, and Questor Tangent Corporation (QTC) Multiview for the multibeam). Subsequently, two ground truthing surveys were carried out, using grab and TV sampling. The RoxAnn and QTC-Multiview outputs showed strong similarity in their classifications of seabed types. Classifications generated by QTC-Multiview were used to supervise those based on seabed roughness and hardness indices produced by the RoxAnn system and thereby develop a ‘blended’ map based on both systems. The resulting hydro-acoustic classes agreed well with a cluster analysis of data on sediment grain sizes from the grab sampling, and indicated that the area could be described by distinct regions of surface texture and surficial sediments ranging from muddy sand to boulders and rock.
- Sediment acoustic classification; RoxAnn system; QTC-Multiview system; ground truthing survey; seabed mapping; Scotland; UK