The health of benthic communities is closely influenced by environmental impacts caused by human activities; at the same time many benthic communities play central roles in their respective ecosystems. Therefore, monitoring of benthic communities and the quantification of their living conditions is important, and can serve as a key indicator for sustainability of natural marine environments.
Priorities for environmental protection are strengthened these years, and the demand for information at higher resolution scales is continually rising Thus, it is vital to develop methodologies dedicated to deliver high resolution information on the health of the marine environment.
The overall objective of the sIOSONAR project is to develop and refine the fields of
a. Stochastic descriptions of spatial patterns of benthic communities, b. image processing techniques,
c. geostatistical estimation methods,
as well as their links and interface,ending with an integrate methodology for sonar monitoring of benthic communities.
The project will include comparative studies and validation of field results used to assess the reach of the method.
Compared to existing benthic monitoring based on sampling, a successful outcome of this project would allow information to be collected at resolutions not attainable today, yet at the same cost level as that of today's monitoring based on sampling. The result will thus be a low-cost monitoring methodology delivering high resolution data for both small and large scale areas.
It is expected that data collected in the project will be valuable to other research projects dealing with use of sonar technology in environmental and/ or biological contexts. Therefore, all data will be collected in a database, to be publically accessible preferably through Internet.
The project is considered a step towards a larger goal of providing sonar pictures of of large sea bottom areas on levels equivalent to current earth observation technology or even to the clinical use of ultrasounding scanners.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
426 04 Vaestra Froelunda