A Stereo III project by VITO and VLIZ which evaluates methods to merge data from optical remote sensing with MBES to produce 3D turbidity profiles.  Timber investigates if the combination of different wavelengths of optical remote sensing is able to provide more information about the vertical distribution of turbidity at the upper layer of the water column. MBES is one of the most used marine survey tools in the world. Consequently, this project has the future potential to help generating new datasets from vessels of opportunity to validate optical remote sensing end products and yield useful sediment budget data applicable in e.g. coastal engineering.

Expected scientific results

By combining information from different wavelengths, new insights might be obtained to deduce more information regarding the vertical distribution of turbidity at the upper layer of the water column based on high spatial resolution sensors like Sentinel-2.

Report and/or manuscript on the suitability of the multibeam echo-sounder as a tool to characterize the sediment charge in the water column over a 3D volume and comparison of the performance with classic point measurements like environmental buoy systems. A procedure is set up for the installation of the multibeam echo-sounder device on a vessel together with a proposed set of acquisition parameters.

List of expected precisions and accuracies of multibeam echo-sounding and optical remote sensing under specific in situ (weather) conditions.

Societal (including environmental) relevance

More in situ and remote measurements of suspended sediments in the water column can lead to a better understanding of the environment and might lead to a better coastal water quality management.

Expected products and services

First prototype of an integration toolbox to couple multibeam echo-sounding and optical remote sensing in order to produce 3D turbidity profiles. This toolbox will take into account the different spatial resolutions and precisions of both techniques.

Potential users

  • All marine industrial operators / contractors / project developers doing multibeam echo-sounding surveys and interested in the quantification of sediment particles in the water column.
  • Universities and research institutes working on suspended sediment profiles in the water column.