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Geostatistical modeling of sedimentological parameters using multi-scale terrain variables: application along the Belgian Part of the North Sea

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In the nowadays highly pressurized marine environment, a science-based approach to management becomes increasingly important. In many cases, the sediment nature and processes are the key to the understanding of the marine ecosystem, and can explain particularly the presence of soft-substrata habitats. For predictions of the occurrence of species and habitats, detailed sedimentological information is required. This paper presents a methodology to create high quality sedimentological data grids of grain-size fractions and the percentage of silt-clay. Based on a multibeam bathymetry terrain model, multiple sources of secondary information (multi-scale terrain variables) were derived. Through the use of the geostatistical technique, Kriging with an external drift (KED), this secondary information was used to assist in the interpolation of the sedimentological data. For comparison purposes, the more commonly used Ordinary Kriging technique was also applied. Validation indices indicated that KED gave better results for all of the maps.
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Keywords: Belgian part of the North Sea; Ecogeographical variables; Multivariate geostatistics; Sedimentology; Topography

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Renard Centre of Marine Geology (RCMG), Department of Geology and Soil Science, Ghent University, 9000 Gent, Belgium 2: Department of Soil Management and Soil Care, Ghent University, 9000 Gent, Belgium

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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