Identifying deep-sea target areas for a pilot Atlantic seabed mapping project using GIS techniques.

Wölfl, Anne-Cathrin , Jencks, Jennifer, Johnston, Gordon, Varner, Jesse and Devey, Colin (2017) Identifying deep-sea target areas for a pilot Atlantic seabed mapping project using GIS techniques. Open Access The Journal of Ocean Technology, 12 (4). pp. 28-42.

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The shape of the seafloor, which primarily reflects the geological processes which have occurred
there, influences both ocean circulation and seafloor habitats. A prerequisite for sustainable
ocean governance, including the designation of marine protected areas to conserve threatened
ecosystems or habitats, is, therefore, the availability of good bathymetric maps. Despite decades
of ocean mapping, we still lack this detailed bathymetric information over large parts of the
Atlantic seafloor. In an effort to change this situation, the US, Canadian and EU governments,
under the “Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation,” established an Atlantic Seabed
Mapping International Working Group (ASMIWG) to develop plans to map the entire Atlantic. A
first step in this effort is to define 400 x 400 km target areas for a pilot mapping project. Here we
present the selection algorithm used to define these pilot areas based on carefully chosen and
publicly available parameters of the marine environment that are of interest to various
stakeholders. The methodology involved a GIS-based overlay technique that included the
parameters of the marine environment as individual layers and combined them in order to obtain
information about the suitability of a location as a target area. The results reveal the suitability of
areas throughout the North Atlantic and highlight three potential pilot mapping sites.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Seafloor; Bathymetry; Multibeam; Geographic information systems
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
ISSN: 1718-3200
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2018 08:52
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2018 11:55

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