Coastal sea floor mapping

Seats of 5 meters or less make up the “white tape” – the bar around coastlines on nautical charts – that is a no-go zone for ships and their sonar equipment. In general, the mapping of these bottoms relies on acoustic methods, in order to determine the nature of sediments and the morphology of the bottoms.

ICESat-2 satellite (Satellite of ice, cloud and land rise) Behind IceSat-1, which was primarily intended to monitor melting polar ice and record sea level rise, which are key data on global warming. Version 2, launched in 2018, pursues the same goal but broadens its mission by adding mapping of the shallow sea floor.

Altimeter called Atlas (Advanced laser topographic altimeter system), Has a green laser light that emits 10,000 pulses per second. This tool is able to penetrate coastal waters up to a depth of 40 meters, record slopes and other changes in the landscape.

It takes direct measurements, along with analyzes using reflected sunlight. This new project aims to automate the production of so-called bathymetry – sea floor topography – with a special focus on coral reefs. The researchers hope to monitor the evolution of the health status of these corals, which are under pressure from warming.

The satellite orbits in its polar orbit for nearly 600 days, and has expanded its scientific view: it can also monitor the height of the surface of lakes, as it happened recently Tested In 30 lakes and reservoirs in China. It can also 3D map a file Burnt areas To update the area changes. Also here, two new data useful for documenting climate change.

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