Project Title: Creation of Ultra-High Resolution Multibeam Sonar Images Targeting Deep-Sea Coral Habitats in Hudson Canyon
Goal or Purpose

To produce a highly detailed map of Hudson Canyon that would reveal areas where deep-sea corals are found or are likely to be found, allowing for a targeted visual search that could contribute to determining whether or not regulatory protection is required.

Anticipated Management Application(s)

Maps from this project are currently being used to direct short-range visual searches for deep-sea corals and sponges in Hudson Canyon. Results of such searches will be used for making decisions regarding need for protection by Fisheries Management Councils.

Fiscal Funding:
  • FY 2010 @ $45,980

 
Region(s):
  • New England Council
  • Mid-Atlantic Council
Location(s):
  • Hudson Submarine Canyon
This sun-shaded map was created by combining depth and bottom hardness data from multibeam sonar mapping with analysis of bottom photography for both sediment type and for organisms present, plus analysis of physical sediment samples. A finder map in the upper right and corner shows the location of the canyon study area with respect to the mid-Atlantic coast and the continental shelf and slope. Credit: Martina Pierdomenico, NOAA Northeast Deep Sea Habitats Team.
Project Type:
  • Data Mining
Point of Contact: Office of the Point of Contact:
  • NMFS NEFSC
Team Members:
  •  None Defined.
Project Title: Creation of Ultra-High Resolution Multibeam Sonar Images Targeting Deep-Sea Coral Habitats in Hudson Canyon
Methods/Approach

Existing very high resolution multibeam sonar data was digitally cleaned, corrected, and rendered into detailed maps using specialized sonar processing software. The maps were analyzed to reveal the geological structures and sediments associated with deep-sea corals in other locations. All of this information was combined with existing bottom photography and sediment data to create a map of sea-floor habitats with known or suspected associations with deep water corals.

Project Results and Management Outcomes

A number of known and prospective coral habitat areas were located and mapped in Hudson Canyon. Furthermore, areas that suggest chemosynthetic communities (i.e. bottom animals living off energy from methane release rather than sunlight) were also discovered where they were previously unknown. Such habitats, among others, may support deep-sea corals.

Project Title: Creation of Ultra-High Resolution Multibeam Sonar Images Targeting Deep-Sea Coral Habitats in Hudson Canyon
Internal References:
  •  None Defined
 
Backlinks:
  •  None Defined

FY10_07_image.jpg
This sun-shaded map was created by combining depth and bottom hardness data from multibeam sonar mapping with analysis of bottom photography for both sediment type and for organisms present, plus analysis of physical sediment samples. A finder map in the upper right and corner shows the location of the canyon study area with respect to the mid-Atlantic coast and the continental shelf and slope. Credit: Martina Pierdomenico, NOAA Northeast Deep Sea Habitats Team.