In August 2023, one of CSA Ocean Sciences Inc.’s field teams successfully put the company’s recently acquired Sediment Profile Imaging (SPI) camera system through its paces while conducting baseline sampling in the Bay of Campeche, Mexico.
Image 1. The CSA team deploying the SPI system from the vessel. (Image credit: CSA)
CSA’s SPI camera system is a model 3731-D Remote Ecological Monitoring of The Seafloor (REMOTS) Digital SPI, which is depth-rated to 4,000 m. This system is additionally equipped with a Plan View (PV) camera rated to 6,000 m. Both systems were manufactured by Eli Perrone at Ocean Imaging Systems, who build industry-standard SPI systems.
For this effort, the CSA team (Image 1) worked in water depths ranging from 78 to 242 m; most sample stations were around 120 m. The seafloor primarily consisted of unconsolidated sand, although some hardbottom was also encountered. The SPI/PV camera system was used to collect PV images of the substrate and profile images of the sediment-water interface.
Profile images are collected via the insertion of a water-filled prism hydraulically driven approximately 20 cm into the seafloor. High-resolution images of the sediment profile over an area as large as 320 cm2 are taken with each sample, providing in situ imaging of organism-sediment relationships and sediment geochemistry of the seafloor.
Adrianna McMahon, the lead project scientist for the sampling campaign in Mexico, stated that “these profile images contain so much information, providing us with data on sediment grain size, composition, surface boundary roughness, the presence and successional stages of infauna, the apparent Redox Potential Discontinuity depth, and surface or subsurface methane pockets. The real strength of the SPI system is that, in what appears to be a simple image, it has actually captured complicated ecological processes. With enough images, the health trends of the local soft-bottom community can even be assessed. Having this advanced technology will be really helpful to our present and future clients.”
To find out more about CSA’s sediment sampling and seafloor characterization services, visit: https://www.csaocean.com/services/marine-operations/sediment-collection
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