High-Frequency Sound Interaction in Ocean Sediments
2 July 1999

Simultaneous Real Time Micro-bathymetric Data from a Laser
Line Scanning System and Acoustic Backscatter

Jules S. Jaffe and Karl Moore
Scripps Inst. of Oceanography
Marine Physical Laboratory
San Diego, CA 92093-0238
(619) 534-6101, -7641 (fax), jules@mpl.ucsd.edu
(619) 822-17299, kdmoore@mpl.ucsd.edu

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The overall experimental goal of our project is to obtain a measurement of the microbathymetry at the site of the SAX99 experiment. This will include the survey of a 1 m x 3 m area at a spatial resolution of 1 cm x 1 cm with a height resolution of several mms. Our system, L-Bath, is a laser bathymetry system which scans a laser beam from side to side and records the reflected light which includes the point at which the beam hit the sea floor. Straight forward triangulation yields the depth from the sensor to the seafloor. A two-dimensional image is then composited by mounting the system on an underwater translation frame and precisely translating the package.

Changes in the microbathymetric profile, a result of both animal disturbances and sediment transport at this resolution will be measured by our system. Time resolution will be about one survey per hour. Correlation with the high frequency backscatter, as accomplished by other researchers, will provide important information in assessing the relative importance of the roles of surface scatter vs. volume scatter. Additional sensors will be deployed at the site including an S4 current meter and a video camera.


Moore, K. D., J. S. Jaffe and B. Ochoa, Development of a New Underwater Bathymetric Laser Imaging System, in review.

Web site: http://pandora.ucsd.edu

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