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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.


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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