ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0396.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: ensemble modelling; seafloor mapping; sediment change analysis; seafloor sediment distribution; North Sea; seafloor classification; acoustic mapping; small sample size; ensemble map
Online: 17 May 2021 (16:58:50 CEST)
Recent studies on seafloor mapping have presented different modelling methods for the automatic classification of seafloor sediments. However, most of these studies have applied these models to seafloor data with appropriate number of ground-truth samples, which raises the question whether these methods are applicable to studies with smaller numbers of ground-truth data. In this study, we aim to address this issue by conducting sediment class-specific predictions using ensemble modelling to map areas with limited or without ground-truth data and combined with hydro-acoustic datasets. The resulting class-specific maps were then assembled into one map, where the most probable class was assigned to the appropriate location. Our approach was able to predict sediment classes without bias to the class with more ground-truth data and produced reliable seafloor sediment distributions maps that can be used for seafloor monitoring. Sediment shifts of a heterogenous seafloor in the Sylt Outer Reef, German North Sea were also assessed to understand the sediment dynamics in the area. The analyses of sediment shifts showed that the western area of the Sylt Outer Reef is highly active, and the results of the analyses assisted in providing recommendations on future seafloor monitoring activities.