Seabed classification from hydrographic survey data

Developing digital maps of seabed areas within the English Channel and North Sea

Seabed classification reports provide information on the type of sediment or geological features of the seabed. Such information is used for a range of reasons, from informing safety of navigation decisions to marine policy development.

ABPmer was commissioned to provide seabed classification data layers (mapping) for several discrete areas within the English Channel and North Sea.

ArcGIS was used to collate client-provided bathymetry datasets. We reviewed the backscatter imagery and classified the seabed using ground truthing data from grab sampling.

As the interpreted grab sample data was based on the Folk sediment classification, this system was also used to interpret the spectral changes within the backscatter imagery.

Each shapefile created followed a client-prescribed list of fields and attributes. To ensure client standards were met, topological checks were made on the final GIS outputs to confirm that no area features overlapped or contained any gaps. Each delivered shapefile was fully populated with ESRI ISO 19115 Metadata.