Terrain characterization from bathymetry data at various resolutions in European waters - experiences and recommendations
The purpose of this report is to review how bathymetric data may be used to characterize seabed terrain with a view to benthic habitat mapping This study was led by the Geological Survey of Norway with contributions from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, The Geological Survey of Ireland and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. The report starts with a review of the geomorphic structures relevant to habitat mapping, also considering the extent to which geomorphology has been included in various legislative and habitat classification systems. Methods for terrain characterisation are reviewed next, showing how bathymetry data can play an important role delimiting geomorphic features and benthic habitats, and how geomorphic structures are used in different habitat classification systems. Case studies have been included from Denmark, Belgium and Ireland, in order to illustrate the wide spread in physiographic settings which can be found in European waters and provide examples of data at different spatial resolutions. The report gives a summary and recommendations for the formats and resolution of bathymetrical data to be used for ecosystem based management of European waters, and recommendations for future development of the EUNIS system.