3D Visualization of Gulf of Mexico Seafloor Features

3D Visualization of Gulf of Mexico Seafloor Features and Submerged Platforms with High-Resolution Multibeam Sonar

By Eric M. Fischer, Geophysicist, Marine Surveys, LLC at the 2012 US RESON User conference. 

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In 2011 Marine Surveys of Lafayette, Louisiana, conducted a series of marine geophysical surveys in the Central Gulf of Mexico. A vessel mounted high frequency multibeam echo sounder (MBES) in conjunction with a high accuracy precision positioning and inertial navigation system was used to evaluate and present the 3-Dimensional position, orientation and attitude of downed structures. A 500 kHz side scan sonar was also run at the individual sites in order to provide a traditional mapping presentation to be used as a reference and comparison to the MBES data.

The results of this survey demonstrate the value of MBES data for the purpose of mapping underwater structures and seafloor features. The water depths encountered during this series of surveys ranged up to 225ft. This water depth range allowed the survey team to perform all of the surveys at 400 kHz.

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