• Multibeam sonar
    Multibeam sonar is a common offshore surveying tool that uses pulses of sound to detect the sea floor. Multibeam sonar is used to determine the depth and backscatter strength (sea floor hardness) of the sea floor
  • Sub-bottom profilers
    Sub-bottom profiling systems are used to determine the physical properties of the sea floor and to image and characterise geological information a few meters below the sea floor.
  • Sidescan sonar
    Sidescan sonar are commonly used as an investigation tool because of their capabilities in imaging large part of the sea floor simultaneously. They create a black and white image of the sea floor reflecting the differences in seabed texture and substrate types.
  • Water column sonar
    Mapping the water column, i.e. the marine environment between the ocean surface and the sea floor, can be done with most sonar systems. To record water column information, sonar receivers are more sensitive to capturing sound that is reflected from features within the water column, such as fish and gas bubbles. The information is often referred as water column backscatter data. Primary uses of this information include assessment and characterisation of biological abundance and behaviour, habitats and underwater gas seeps.
Figure 1. Comparison of beam patterns of single beam, multibeam and sidescan sonar swath systems. Note that the area of water column covered by the swath corresponds to the water column data