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steps for data integration
Integration of various geophysical and ground-truth data types, yielding an interpretive view of sea floor geology.

The final step in processing and interpretation Sea-floor Mapping data is data integration and visualization. This serves to both further enhance the interpretations of individual datasets by presenting a synthesis of the data types and offers a conceptualization tool for the general audience. The major tools used in data integration are geographic information systems (GIS). These range from plan-view geospatial tools to 3-D visualization.

In the example above, interpreted seismic-reflection, sidescan-sonar, and swath bathymetric data are merged with ground-truth information to define the surficial geology and shallow stratigraphy from the offshore South Carolina area. The example below presents two data visualization techniques.
Plan-view display of sidescan-sonar image Perspective view of sidescan-sonar and swath bathymetric data
Plan-view display of sidescan-sonar image. Perspective view of sidescan-sonar and swath bathymetric data.

The above image (left) displays a "traditional" method of visualizing the sidescan-sonar imagery and bathymetry--looking at the imagery in map view and using contour intervals to denote bathymetry.

Integrating interferometric swath bathymetry and sidescan-sonar data enable us to generate dynamic maps, in a 3-dimensional perspective.

The above image (right) shows the same composite mosaic, now in a 3-D perspective view showing bathymetry and sidescan-sonar imagery "draped" over bathymetry.

References

Denny, J.F., W. E. Baldwin, W. C. Schwab, J. C. Warner, and M. R. DeVoe, 2005, South Carolina Coastal Erosion Study, U.S.G.S. Fact Sheet 2005-3041, 4p.

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