NCCOS, NMFS and NERRS use Interferometric SoNAR to Map Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Puerto Rico
Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and NMFS’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office (CBPO), in cooperation with partners from the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (JBNERR), collected bathymetry and sidescan data from April 6th to 20th between the municipalities of Guayama and Salinas, Puerto Rico. These acoustic datasets were collected using an interferometric side-scan sound navigation and ranging (SoNAR) sensor, which is well suited for mapping marine environments that are too shallow (2 to 30 m) for multibeam echosounders (MBES) and too turbid for light detection and ranging (LiDAR).
The resulting bathymetry and backscatter imagery will support the characterization of previously unknown shallow-water coral reef habitats in and around the JBNERR. They will also inform the development and implementation of a biological monitoring and sampling plan, as well as help managers better understand the effects that agricultural conservation practices may have on nearshore coral reef ecosystems.