Posidonia Oceanica is a seagrass species endemic in the Mediterranean, where it plays an important role in the ecosystem. Its presence indicates low water pollution levels.
Areas of Posidonia Oceanica growth (green) on sandy seafloor (brown) near Villajoyosa, Spain. Side scan record and texture classified images. The imagery are draped over high resolution
bathymetry data allowing combined interpretation of terrain and the classified growth areas.
Its acoustic properties allow it to be distinguished from backscatter response of the seabed and make it possible to map it with side scan sonar systems.
Kongsberg GeoAcoustics' GeoSwath Plus system are widely used in habitat mapping projects, utilising its geo-referenced side scan information, which is co-registered with wide swath high resolution
bathymetry data. In recent field studies in Villajoyosa, Spain, a method was developed to automate the interpretation of the side scan records by applying aided texture classification, easily detecting
areas with Posidonia growth on sandy seafloor. GeoTexture software was applied, which combines side scan and bathymetry information for side scan normalisation and reliable texture mapping.
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