DISCLOSE has a new scientific article out! Based on multibeam echosounder (MBES) backscatter data, Leo Koop and others derived a seafloor classification in a sand wave area at the Dutch Continental Shelf. The paper was published by Geosciences online 23 March.
The paper describes how MBES backscatter data should be corrected for the slopes caused by various seabed morphology types, such as megaripples and sand waves when classifying the seabed. Moreover, it shows the trade-off between spatial and geo-acoustic resolution, with the Bayesian classification approach remaining robust with respect to these resolution-decisions.
The acoustic classification reveals that the full spectrum of grain sizes are important when defining classes. Combined with sediment grab samples and video footage, we show that the megaripples affect sedimentary compositions. The crests and troughs comprise coarser sediments, while finer sediments are found on the stoss slopes (gentle slope, facing the currents), and a mixture of sediments is found on the lee slopes (steep slope, protected from currents).