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Reconstruction of sand wave bathymetry using both satellite imagery and multi-beam bathymetric data: a case study of the Taiwan Banks

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Sand waves are a widespread bed-form in the tidal environment. Their formation, migration, and other properties have great significance in the fields of geology and oceanography. Currently, research on sand waves is mainly based on multi-beam bathymetric (MB) data. For large sand wave regions, however, the acquisition ability of MB data becomes limited; instead, interval-line measurement is adopted but with the inherent problem that it cannot achieve the full spatial coverage required. Reconstructed sand wave bathymetry (SWB) using interpolation algorithms cannot reflect the real SWB either. In this article, we propose a new approach in using both satellite imagery and MB data to reconstruct SWB, which takes advantage of characteristic information (ripple and crest) of SWB rendered in satellite imagery and MB data. The new approach is exemplified by a case study of the Taiwan Banks. We use the imagery obtained by the Charge-Coupled Device from the Small Satellite Constellation for Environment and Disaster Monitoring and Forecasting, and the MB data from R2Sonic to reconstruct the digital elevation model. The results show that the root mean square error of the reconstructed water depth is 1.47 m (compared to the MB data not using this approach), suggesting that the new approach is effective in reconstructing SWB. This approach allows a reduction in MB data track density, which may lead to an improvement in efficiency.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Earth Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China 2: State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou, China

Publication date: May 3, 2014

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