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TitleMapping benthic habitat and fish populations on the West Florida Shelf: integration of marine acoustics and towed video technologies
DownloadDownload (whole publication)
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorHommeyer, M; Grasty, S; Lembke, C; Locker, S; Brizzolara, J; Gray, J; Hughes, E; Ilich, A; Murawski, S
SourceProgram and abstracts: 2017 GeoHab Conference, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada; by Todd, B JORCID logo; Brown, C J; Lacharité, M; Gazzola, V; McCormack, E; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8295, 2017 p. 59, Open Access logo Open Access
LinksGeoHab 2017
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Meeting2017 GeoHab: Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping; Dartmouth, NS; CA; May 1-4, 2017
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Program and abstracts: 2017 GeoHab Conference, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
File formatpdf
AreaFlorida; United States of America
Lat/Long WENS -87.0000 -80.0000 31.0000 24.0000
Subjectsmarine geology; geophysics; engineering geology; mapping techniques; oceanography; marine environments; coastal studies; conservation; marine organisms; marine ecology; resource management; biological communities; environmental studies; ecosystems; benthos; continental margins; continental shelf; geophysical surveys; acoustic surveys, marine; sonar surveys; side-scan sonar; photography; oil spills; reefs; bathymetry; seafloor topography; West Florida Shelf; Biology; Fish; Fisheries resources
ProgramOffshore Geoscience
Released2017 09 26
AbstractIt has been demonstrated though hydrographic modeling that oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout likely reached the West Florida Shelf (WFS) not long after the time of the incident in the spring of 2010. Fortunately, the majority of the benthic habitat on the WFS was less impacted than the ecosystems in closer proximity to the wellhead. However, the extensive impact of this event within the Gulf of Mexico underscored the need for more baseline data to better understand the potential impacts of any future oil spills. Robust assessment is difficult when the baseline condition of the resource is largely unknown. A gap analysis of coastal and marine data sets conducted in 2012 identified "benthic habitat" and "living marine resources" as the top two categories for which increased research in the eastern Gulf should be prioritized. Yet, only a small fraction of the seafloor on the WFS has been characterized at the spatial resolution achievable by contemporary instrumentation.
The Continental Shelf Characterization, Assessment and Mapping Project (C-SCAMP) is surveying areas on the WFS that are likely to contain essential habitat for reef fish and sea turtles. Multiple complementary technologies are employed in this effort, including multibeam and split-beam echosounders as well as a towed camera system. As of the end of this project's first full field season (2016), ultra-high resolution bathymetry and co-registered acoustic backscatter data has been collected for over 800 square kilometres of seafloor, and more than 80 hours of imagery has been recorded.
Preliminary results of the benthic habitat analyses and fish assessments for selected areas will be presented. Many of the areas mapped by C-SCAMP have been found to contain extensive hard bottom communities and support high reef fish abundance and diversity. The overall aims of the project and other areas of research will also be briefly discussed, including benthic faunal analysis and the synthesis of water column data from the split-beam echosounder with visual survey data from the towed camera system.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The sixteenth annual GeoHab Conference was held this year (2017) at the Waterfront Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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