eCite Digital Repository

Multibeam sonar backscatter data acquisition and processing: guidelines and recommendations from the GEOHAB Backscatter Working Group


Heffron, E and Lurton, X and Lamarche, G and Brown, C and Lucieer, V and Rice, G and Weber, T, Multibeam sonar backscatter data acquisition and processing: guidelines and recommendations from the GEOHAB Backscatter Working Group, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting Program, 14-18 December, San Francisco, USA (2015) [Conference Extract]

Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy


Backscatter data acquired with multibeam sonars are now commonly used for the remote geological interpretation of the seabed. The systems hardware, software, and processing methods and tools have grown in numbers and improved over the years, yet many issues linger: there are no standard procedures for acquisition, poor or absent calibration, limited understanding and documentation of processing methods, etc.

A workshop organized at the GeoHab (a community of geoscientists and biologists around the topic of marine habitat mapping) annual meeting in 2013 was dedicated to seafloor backscatter data from multibeam sonars and concluded that there was an overwhelming need for better coherence and agreement on the topics of acquisition, processing and interpretation of data. The GeoHab Backscatter Working Group (BSWG) was subsequently created with the purpose of documenting and synthetizing the state-of-the-art in sensors and techniques available today and proposing methods for best practice in the acquisition and processing of backscatter data.

Two years later, the resulting document "Backscatter measurements by seafloor-mapping sonars: Guidelines and Recommendations" was completed1. The document provides:

  1. An introduction to backscatter measurements by seafloor-mapping sonars;
  2. A background on the physical principles of sonar backscatter;
  3. A discussion on users’ needs from a wide spectrum of community end-users;
  4. A review on backscatter measurement;
  5. An analysis of best practices in data acquisition;
  6. A review of data processing principles with details on present software implementation; and finally
  7. A synthesis and key recommendations.

This presentation reviews the BSWG mandate, structure, and development of this document. It details the various chapter contents, its recommendations to sonar manufacturers, operators, data processing software developers and end-users and its implication for the marine geology community.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:multibeam acoustic backscatter
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Geomatic engineering
Research Field:Surveying (incl. hydrographic surveying)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Lucieer, V (Dr Vanessa Lucieer)
ID Code:105217
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-12-15
Last Modified:2015-12-15

Repository Staff Only: item control page