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Integration of orthophotographic and sidescan sonar imagery: an example from Lake Garda, Italy

October 22, 1996

Digital orthophotos of Lake Garda basin area are available at the scale of up to 1:10,000 from a 1994 high altitude (average scale of 1:75,000) air photo coverage of Italy collected with an RC30 camera and Panatomic film. In October 1994 the lake bed was surveyed by USGS and CISIG personnel using a SIS 1000 Sea-Floor Mapping System. Subsystems of the SIS-1000 include high resolution sidescan sonar and sub-bottom profiler. The sidescan imagery was collected in ranges up to 1500m, while preserving a 50cm pixel resolution. The system was navigated using differential GPS. The extended operational range of the sidescan sonar permitted surveying the 370km lake area in 11 days. Data were compiled into a digital image with a pixel resolution of about 2m and stored as 12 gigabytes in exabyte 8mm tape and converted from WGS84 coordinate system to the European Datum (ED50) and integrated with bathymetric data digitized from maps.The digital bathymetric model was generated by interpolation using commercial software and was merged with the land elevation model to obtain a digital elevation model of the Lake Garda basin.The sidescan image data was also projected in the same coordinate system and seamed with the digital orthophoto of the land to produce a continuous image of the basin as if the water were removed. Some perspective scenes were generated by combining elevation and bathymetric data with basin and lake floor images. In deep water the lake's thermal structure created problems with the imagery indicating that winter or spring is best survey period. In shallow waters, ≤ 10 m, where data are missing, the bottom data gap can be filled with available images from the first few channels of the Daedalus built MIVIS, a 102 channel hyperspectral scanner with 20 channel bands of 0.020 μm width, operating in the visible part of the spectrum. By integrating orthophotos with sidescan imagery we can see how the basin morphology extends across the lake, the paths taken by the lake inlet along the lake bed and the areal distribution of sediments. An extensive exposure of debris aprons were noted on the western side of the lake. Various anthropogenic objects were recognized: pipelines, sites of waste disposal on the lake's bed, and relicts of Venitian and Austrian(?) boats.

Publication Year 1996
Title Integration of orthophotographic and sidescan sonar imagery: an example from Lake Garda, Italy
Authors Giuseppe Gentili, David C. Twichell, Bill Schwab
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70129437
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coastal and Marine Geology Program; Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center