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TitleQuality of image-based manganese nodule abundance assessment
DownloadDownload (whole publication)
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorSchoening, T; Greinert, J
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. 108, 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
Subjectseconomic geology; marine geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; environmental geology; geophysics; mapping techniques; oceanography; marine environments; conservation; marine organisms; marine ecology; resource management; biological communities; environmental studies; ecosystems; mineral deposits; manganese nodules; marine sediments; faunas; sampling methods; geophysical surveys; acoustic surveys, marine; bathymetry; bedforms; Biology; Renewable resources
Illustrationsdigital images
ProgramOffshore Geoscience
Released2017 09 26
AbstractManganese nodules are a marine mineral resource and are considered for deep sea mining operations. These nodules constitute an important element of the deep sea habitats they occur in and their abundance and size frequencies have an impact on occurring fauna. Assessing the distribution of nodules is traditionally done with a combination of large-aerial hydro-acoustic mapping linked with ground-truthing by physical sampling. While hydro-acoustics provide large aerial coverage (km2/h) with low resolution (m/px), physical sampling provides low aerial coverage (cm2/h) with high resolution (mm/px). To bridge these two separate data domains, optical imaging has successfully been applied as it provides medium aerial coverage (ha/h) and resolution (cm/px).
Extracting quantitative data from optical images is traditionally done by effortful manual image annotation. More recently, multiple automated and semi-automated image analysis algorithms have been proposed. These algorithms are usually tuned for one specific data set or use case. The application of these algorithms to other optical imagery data sets is one necessity to prove their robustness. As manual annotations of manganese nodules are scarce and focus on nodule counts rather than exact nodule delineations, quantitative assessment of the quality of detection algorithms in the form of e.g. precision and recall is not possible at the moment.
Apart from the within-data comparison, a link to the traditional sampling strategies is required. These strategies are the de-facto standard for aerial mapping of habitats and assessing seafloor substrate composition (including manganese nodules). In the case of physical sampling, statistic variations in the natural nodule abundance can bias the sampling outcome. In the case of hydro-acoustic sampling, small-scale natural variations in abundance that are relevant to mining as well as habitat composition can be occluded due to the limited resolution. Using optical imaging as a bridge technology enables to extract more robust nodule abundance data.
This presentation will include results on comparing different nodule detection algorithms, and will show the challenges in correlating physical sampling derived data with optical imagery data and shows potential applications for habitat assessment using the presented algorithms.
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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