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Multibeam Swath Bathymetry - Atlantis FZ

Geophysical Analysis


Atlantis FZ

Atlantis FZ

Grid Information:

  • West = -45
  • East = -39.5
  • South = 28.6
  • North = 31.6
  • Grid Nodes: nx = 2201, ny = 1501
  • Depth: Max = 5461 m, Min = 751 m

GMT command line arguments:

  • -R-45/-39.5/28.6/31.6
  • -I.0025/.002

Grid Files:

Data Source:

Profile Comparisons

Here we compare profiles from swath bathymetry (A) with estimated bathymetry (B), and satellite-derived gravity anomalies (C). Because there are limited constrainted points (black dots in E) in the estimated bathymetry along the profile (red line), and because of the resolution limit of the altimeter data used in the bathymetry prediction, the estimated anomalies do not resolve short- wavelength seafloor features evident in swath bathymetry (G).




Grid Analysis

We compare the difference between altimetry-estimated bathymetry (2 min. grid) and actual swath bathymetry (.0025/.002 deg. grid) two ways, because the two are on grids of different spacing and thus may capture different length scales of bathymetric roughness.

For the lower-resolution analysis (H and I), multibeam data were averaged into corresponding 2-arc-minute blocks, and estimated bathymetry was subtracted.

For the higher-resolution analysis (J and K), bilinear interpolation was used to obtain estimated bathymetry values at each point on the swath bathymetry grid, then the estimated bathymetry was subtracted.

In both cases, we find the mean difference is ~ -26 m (the swath bathymetry data are systematically deeper); the difference is about 0.8% of the depth. An error like this is expected because of the uncertainties in whether or not data sets used in calibration have been corrected for the variable speed of sound in seawater, errors translating uncorrected sound speeds between nominal fathoms and nominal meters, etc.

The standard deviations about the mean are 158 m for the 2 arcmin averages and 154 m for the multibeam points. This result is opposite of what we expect- the standard deviations should be greater for the high resolution differences. However in this case, the nearly complete coverage of constrained points from which the estimated bathymetry was computed (E), as well as the spaces between swath paths embedded in the multibeam bathymetry (A), might have contributed to the standard deviations being nearly the same.



Eventually, we want to do a detailed cross-spectral analysis to determine how much of the actual multibeam bathymetry is captured in the altimeter gravity field. Here, we present a very simplified model. We take the combined bathymetry (F) and simply calculate a model gravity field, assuming that all the topography has the same density and is entirely uncompensated. This model (M) does not look much like the observed gravity (L), because our assumptions are too simple. The radially-averaged power spectra of the two (N) give some clue as to why.

At wavelengths longer than ~160 km or so, the simple model has too much power, because it does not include the effects of isostatic compensation of the topography. Between perhaps 25 and 100 km wavelengths, the two spectra are similar. then at shorter wavelengths the model again has more power than the altimetric gravity. Some of this is due to smoothing in the altimeter data necessary to remove noise. However, we don't know whether the simple model is realistic at these wavelengths.