The estimation of sea floor dynamics from bathymetric surveys of a sand wave area

Leendert Dorst, Pieter C. Roos, Suzanne J.M.H. Hulscher, R.C. Lindenbergh

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The analysis of series of offshore bathymetric surveys provides insight into the morphodynamics of the sea floor. This knowledge helps to improve resurvey policies for the maintenance of port approaches and nautical charting, and to validate morphodynamic models. We propose a method for such an analysis that is based on statistical testing theory, particularly aimed at the detection of dynamics in areas with tidal sand waves. The method explicitly considers the uncertainty of every measured depth value, resulting in parameter estimates for the sea floor dynamics, and their uncertainty. We apply the method to sea floor representations both with and without a sand wave pattern. A test scenario is set up, consisting of a survey of an existing area in the Southern North Sea, for which dynamics are simulated. The results show that the proposed method successfully detects different types of sea floor dynamics, leading to satisfactory estimates of the corresponding parameters.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)97-120
JournalJournal of applied geodesy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Bathymetric surveying
  • IR-78599
  • METIS-249382
  • Marine morphodynamics
  • Deformation analysis

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