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The University of Southampton
NEXUSS - Next Generation Unmanned Systems Science

Annabell Moser


Anthropogenic influence in the ocean can lead to poor environmental health of the seabed. For example, huge fish farms, designed to feed our exploding population, produce massive faecal pallets that sink to the deep. These causes stress to the health of the seabed and the organisms living in it. Sediment-profile imaging (SPI) cameras are widely used to assess anthropogenic influence and the health of the seabed. SPI cameras take pictures of the sediment-water interface. These pictures are used to determine the animal-sediment relationship, the oxygen penetration depth, bioturbation (particle and water displacement caused by animals) and the Benthic Habitat Quality.   

However, the major disadvantage of this technique is that by only looking at two dimensions of the sediment and ignoring the third one information get lost. Conclusions are reached based on incorrect assumptions. This NEXUSS project involves the improvement of the SPI camera to consider the third dimension of the sediment. Assessing the third dimension of the sediment requires to develop new and innovative techniques. This will be deployed from autonomous lander platforms to achieve a rapid and more accurate investigation of the seafloors’ health condition.


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