ASC - Acoustic Seabed Classification
Acoustic Seafloor Classification using Side-scan sonar data. Mapping benthic habitats is necessary for the implementation of a balanced approach on ecosystems in the management of marine protected areas. It is focused on monitoring and identifying the marine ecosystems by shaping the geometry and distribution of the habitats and building up a complete map of the seafloor. We follow a combined multidisciplinary methodology for mapping coastal habitats, initially implying the mapping of acoustic facies of the seafloor, associating the acoustic facies with lithological ones and correlating information concerning the environment with spot observations on biological features. We scan the areas of interest using sonars and based on the backscatter properties we create a map of acoustic facies distribution. Ground truthing is necessary in order to confirm the lithology of acoustic classes and samples are analyzed with a laser grain-sizer.