Habitat heterogeneity in 3D

Example of sideways multibeam mapping: morphology of a coral-covered, overhanging cliff in Whittard Canyon, mapped with a SM2000 multibeam placed on the front of the ROV ISIS (left). Top: (a) data collected at 30m distance, 50cm pixel size; (b) data collected at 7m distance, 10cm pixel. No vertical exaggeration.

Mapping and visualisation

Work package WP4 includes:

  • Mapping of deep-sea cliffs and overhangs using underwater vehicles (AUV/ROV) in ‘sideways’ or ‘front-looking’ mode
  • Visualisation through point-cloud models and voxel-based TINs (Triangulated Irregular Networks)
  • Derivation of 3D habitat heterogeneity measures.



  • Spectacular results of our initial tests of the 'front-looking' ROV-based mapping (Huvenne et al., 2011; PloS One)
  • Application of this mapping technique to image a submarine landslide headwall scarp (Huvenne et al., 2016)
  • Summary of the approaches developed in CODEMAP in a handy 2-page factsheet