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Acoustic seabed classification of marine habitats: Studies in the Abu-Qir Bay, Egypt

Author(s): Hamouda AZ, Abdel-Salam KM

Abstract

The present paper describes a submarine survey using the acoustic discrimination system QTC VIEW (Series V) as an exploratory tool to adjust final route alignment of a new pipeline. By using acoustic sound survey as an exploratory tool described in this paper to adjust final route alignment of a new pipeline to minimize the environmental impact caused and ultimately to avoid any mitigation measures. The transmission pipeline extended from the shore line of Abu-Qir Bay, on the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt, out to 70 nautical miles at sea (60 m water depth). Four main surface sediment types were defined in the study area, namely fine sand, silty sand, silt and clay. Results of the acoustic classification revealed four acoustic classes. The first acoustic class corresponded to fine sand, absence of shell debris and very poor habitats characteristics. The second acoustic class is predominant in the study area and corresponds to the region occupied by silt. It is also characterized by intermediate diversity of macrobenthic invertebrate community which is mainly characterized by polychaeta. The third acoustic class is characterized by silt to silty clay. It is characterized by a high diversity of macrobenthic invertebrate community which is mainly polychaeta with an intermediate diversity of gastropoda and bivalvia. The final acoustic class is characterized by clay and high occurrence of shell debris of gastropoda, bivalvia and polychaeta.

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