Kongsberg multibeam workshop in Deakin University
January 09, 2013

Deakin University in Warnambool, Victoria, has a 10 metre research vessel, MV Yolla, which also has a Kongsberg EM3002 multibeam swath system used for seabed mapping surveys in shallow coastal waters. It will soon have as a replacement the Kongsberg EM2040C multibeam, the first of its kind in Australia. These state-of-the-art multibeam echosounders provide dense bathymetry (depth) data for visualising the seafloor in 3D, and also include backscatter (seabed texture) and water column (fish, seeps) data.

multibeam_deakinWorkshop participants with Kongbserg trainerFrom 7-11 January 2013, a Kongsberg Seafloor Information System (SIS) Training Workshop was conducted to teach basic acoustic theory, how to use the Kongsberg EM3002 and EM2040C multibeam sonars, and the SIS acquisition software. Workshop participants from Geoscience Australia, James Cook University and Deakin University then sailed on the MV Yolla to collect multibeam bathymetry data near Warnambool and Port Fairy to practice the theory learned in the classroom.

Back at Deakin University, workshop participants were shown how to post-process the raw multibeam data using Caris HIPS/SIPS software so as to remove any noise, remove the variation in sea-level due to tides, and then derive clean gridded datasets for viewing in QPS Fledermaus 3D visualisation software and in ESRI ArcGIS software.

For example, the image below shows a 3000m x 100m survey using the Kongsberg EM3002 multibeam system in depths 20-40m, with a 1m pixel bathymetry grid on the left and a corresponding 20cm pixel backscatter image on the right. Both datasets are high-quality showing very little noise or artefacts. The 660m x 360m insets show rugose reefs surrounding a smooth channel, and scattered pockets of sandwaves in depressions.

Daniel Ierodiaconou from Deakin University is leading this developing seabed mapping program, utilising these advanced technologies to advance benthic (seabed) habitat studies along coastal Southern Australia.




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