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SEABOSS

The SEABed Observation and Sampling System (SEABOSS) was designed by the Woods Hole Science Center for rapid, inexpensive, and effective collection of seabed images and sediment samples in coastal/inner-continental shelf regions. The observations from video and still cameras, along with sediments collected in the sampler, are used in conjunction geophysical mapping surveys to provide more comprehensive interpretations of seabed character.

The SEABOSS incorporates two video cameras, a still camera, a depth sensor, light sources, and a modified Van Veen sediment sampler. These components are attached to a stainless steel frame that is deployed through an A-frame, using a power winch, as the SEABOSS weighs 136 kilograms. The SEABOSS frame has both a stabilizing fin capable of orienting the system while it drifts and base plates that prevent over-penetration when the system rests on the sea floor. Undisturbed samples are taken with the modified Van Veen sampler. The system begins imaging the sea floor with a 35-millimeter camera before touching bottom, at 76 centimeters height above bottom. Scale, time, and exposure number are annotated on each image. These images are later scanned into a digital format. A downward-looking video camera overlaps the field of view of the still camera. The second video camera is mounted in a forward-looking orientation, providing an oblique sea floor view and enables a shipboard operator to monitor for proper tow-depth and for obstacles to the SEABOSS while operations are underway. (Blackwood, et al., 2000) A new SEABOSS system has been developed and is currently in the testing phase. This new system has a digital still camera, high-intensity discharge lights for an increased area of illumination and thus, increased exposure area with the cameras.

SEABOSS components
  • Forward video camera
  • Forward video lights
  • Downward video camera
  • Downward video lights
  • 35mm Still camera
  • Strobe light for still camera
  • Van Veen grab sampler
  • Depth sensor
  • Junction box
  • Parallel sensors for scale
  • Angled laser for range
SEABOSS Components

Mini SEABOSS

The Mini SEABOSS is a lighter-weight, approximately 84 kilogram, system designed to work in coastal, lake, and river environments. It has two video cameras, a digital still camera, light sources, and a Van Veen bottom grab sampler. It is built around the same Van Veen grab sampler as the original SEABOSS but uses a slightly smaller and lighter frame. The operating power requirements are greatly reduced, as well. The davit/winch system used to deploy the system is about 100 kilograms, substantially lighter, and more portable than that required for the SEABOSS, whose winch alone weighs on the order of 1050 kilograms. The electrical cable is attached to the Mini SEABOSS by an independent spring-loaded reel so that it maintains the orientation of the Mini SEABOSS relative to the research vessel by the tension exerted on the electrical cable.

The digital camera can take several hundred images between downloads, as opposed to the SEABOSS's still camera that can take 250 images on a roll with each deployment. All images are similarly annotated, with scale, exposure number, and time. Time is subsequently correlated to a location using the navigation record.

The Mini SEABOSS can be secured to the gunwale during short transits between deployments, rather than bringing it onboard, greatly easing operations and allowing for more stations because of the reduced time involved in deployment/recovery. Additionally, after the sample is removed, excess sediment is directly washed back into the ocean, rather than fouling the deck.

SEABOSS components
  • Forward video camera
  • Downward video camera
  • Video Light
  • Digital still camera and housing
  • Strobe light for still camera
  • Parallel sensors for scale
  • Angled laser for range
  • Junction block
  • Van Veen grab sampler
  • multi-conducting cable
Mini SEABOSS Components

System Operation

SEABOSS

The SEABOSS can be deployed from both large and small vessels, but requires an A-frame, a power winch, and large shipboard power resources. It can operate to water depths of 200m.

SEABOSS on deck picture Deployment of the SEABOSS picture
SEABOSS on deck Deployment of the SEABOSS

Mini SEABOSS

The mini SEABOSS can be used in ocean environments, but is specifically targeted for nearshore/coastal, river, lacustrine, and estuary research. Although relatively new, it has been used in the South Essex Ocean Sanctuary, Outer Cape Cod, MA, Quick's Hole, MA, Lake Winnepesauke, N.H., and Boston Harbor areas.

SEABOSS ready for deployment Deployment of the SEABOSS picture
Mini SEABOSS ready for deployment from the research vessel Rafael in Quick's Hole, MA. The researcher on the left is operating the variable speed wired remote control. The Mini SEABOSS is freed from its stabilizing blocks and is guided by the researcher on the right. The power davit is above and the cable-management reel is to the right The Mini SEABOSS suspended by the davit over the gunwale. The white object is the electric motor directly linked to the take-up drum. Independent reel of electrical cable (green) is shown on right. Tension-controlling spring is contained in the sealed unit attached on the left side of the reel.

System Usage

SEABOSS

Sedimentary environments and biological habitats in a wide variety of settings have been investigated using the SEABOSS, most extensively in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, New York Bight, Long Island Sound, Georges Bank, and offshore Oregon and Washington on the Pacific coast. Please click on the boxes below for a sample of studies that have employed the SEABOSS system.

Fact Sheet Deep Corals Study Tunicate Study Photo Gallery

Mini SEABOSS

The Mini SEABOSS can be used in ocean environments, but is specifically targeted for nearshore/coastal, river, lacustrine, and estuary research. Although relatively new, it has been used in the South Essex Ocean Sanctuary, Outer Cape Cod, MA, Woods Hole, MA, Lake Winnepesauke, N.H., and Boston Harbor areas.

SEABOSS on deck picture Deployment of the SEABOSS picture
Mini SEABOSS readied for deployment offshore Chatham, MA Mini SEABOSS in use in Boston Harbor, MA.

References

Blackwood, D., Parolski, K. and Valentine, P. 2000. Seabed Observation and Sampling System: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-142-00.


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This page last modified on Monday, 14-Jan-2013 04:50:46 EST