CERF Develops a Geospatially Integrated Seafloor Classification Scheme (G-ISCS)
A New Method for Cognitively Interpreting Benthic Biogeomorphological Features
Accurate classifications of shallow-water benthic environments have been the bane of marine scientists throughout the world. In an effort to overcome this problem, a multidisciplinary, cognitive approach was used to develop a geospatially integrated seafloor classification scheme (G-ISCS) for interpreting biogeomorphological features within benthic environments. This new G-ISCS method is hierarchical in nature and draws upon the cartographer's skill to interpret benthic environments from general geomorphological components to specific biological coverages. By organizing the extrapolation of interpretation units to select remotely sensed imagery, the objective of this new method is the elucidation of potential spatial relationships between landforms, process zones, exposed bedrock, unconsolidated materials, and biological covers throughout an area of investigation. This paper demonstrates how biological, ecological, and geomorphological disciplines are geospatially incorporated within a geographic information system (GIS) platform to delineate seafloor environments. By doing so, the creation of a comprehensive geo-referenced classification of biophysical environments for shallow clear-water regions can be accomplished.
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