Advanced Techniques for Mapping Biophysical Environments on Carbonate Banks

Using Laser Airborne Depth Sounding (LADS) and IKONOS Satellite Imagery


  Mapping seafloor environments on the continental shelf, over the past several decades, has undergone rapid transitions from early, relatively low-resolution techniques, such as echo sounding in deeper waters and digital aerial photography in shallower waters, to modern advancements like high-density airborne laser bathymetry and multi-spectral satellite imagery that can now detect seafloor reflectance at depths ranging to 50–60 m. Passive imaging systems require clear waters that typically exist on carbonate banks in many regions of the world ocean. Carbonate banks in the south Florida region provide nearly ideal conditions for mapping submarine topography and interpreting geomorphological and biophysical environments. A hierarchical open-ended classification system was developed for both open-ocean and key (low carbonate islands) environments. These classification systems, which are based on cognitive recognition of seafloor features interpreted from LADS and IKONOS imagery, are directly applied in GIS cartography programs to create comprehensive, informative, and interactive products. Examples from the open ocean southeast coast and Marquesa Islands illustrate the applicability and usefulness of advanced remote sensing techniques intercalated with GIS programs and classificatory schema for organizing seafloor typologies. This new technology and its associated classification systems permit major advancements in the detailed mapping of seafloors that have never before been achieved for margins of regional seas.





For more information, please click the CERF logo above


To learn more about CERF's research involving LADS and IKONOS mapping,

please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Author Instructions

downloadDownload and consult the JCR Instructions For Authors before submission. Contributions must follow these specifications or will be returned for correction.

Submit Your Article

uploadElectronic submission of all contributions is mandatory.  Please use this online link to submit your article for peer review and possible publication in the JCR.

Manage Membership

go-rightClick here to join or renew your CERF-JCR membership.