Technology

Rock dredge

A rock dredge is a large bag made of metal chain links attached to a simple heavy frame that keeps the bag expanded. The dredge is lowered off the back of a ship to the seafloor and dragged along to collect large pieces of rock.

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Lidar mapping

A similar seafloor mapping technique to multibeam sonar is the use of airborne laser bathymetry, or Light Detection and Ranging (lidar), which use low-flying aircraft to scan pulsed laser beams across the seafloor and generate a swath of depth soundings.

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3D visualisation

The 3D visualisation software we use is Fledermaus - a powerful, interactive 4D (space and time) data visualisation software developed by QPS. Fledermaus software is used for a variety of ocean mapping applications, such as multibeam depth editing, environmental surveys, undersea mining and seabed geology research.

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Underwater camera

Deep-sea underwater cameras may take either video or still images with high-resolution digital cameras. There are a huge range of underwater cameras for every purpose but they all have several things in common.

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Sidescan sonar

Sidescan sonar uses sound energy reflected off the seabed to reveal the detailed texture or roughness of the seafloor. Unlike echosounders which only measure depth, a sidescan sonar records an image of the seabed by measuring the strength of returned echoes.

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Sediment grab

Sediment grabs come in all shapes and sizes, but they all do much the same thing, to collect a sample of sediment from the seabed. These samples are used to analyse the properties of the sediment itself or to discover the marine life living on the seafloor.

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Multibeam mapping

Singlebeam echosounders have been used routinely for many years to collect depth data from the world’s oceans. This acoustic technique relies on a vessel-mounted transducer to generate a single acoustic pulse directed towards the seabed underneath the vessel.

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CTD profiler

A conductivity-temperature-depth profiler, or CTD, is an instrument lowered into the sea from a ship and used to measure the physical characteristics of the ocean and also to collect water samples.

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