One of the many benefits of our Reson T50R multibeam system is the ability to collect backscatter data in conjunction with bathymetry data. In very simple terms when we collect bathymetry data we measure the time taken for sound waves to return from the seabed and in that way calculate the depth. Backscatter data is a measure of the intensity of the sound waves which are reflected back from the seabed. Different bottom types will have a different intensity with harder rockier bottom types reflecting more sound then softer bottom types. By collecting the backscatter data in conjunction with the bathymetry it allows us to further understand the characteristics of the sea floor.
Recently we have reprocessed some of our colocated bathymetry and backscatter data. Firstly we created some high resolution bathymetry grid models.
We then produced some high resolution geotiff’s of the backscatter mosaics for the same area. The backscatter geotiff’s were then draped across the bathymetry data to create 3d models of the seafloor. The results offer a unique view of the seafloor and allow us and our clients to better understand the seafloor characteristics of surveyed areas.