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Pelagic habitat visualization: the need for a third (and fourth) dimension: HabitatSpace

November 6, 2009

Habitat in open water is not simply a 2-D to 2.5-D surface such as the ocean bottom or the air-water interface. Rather, pelagic habitat is a 3-D volume of water that can change over time, leading us to the term habitat space. Visualization and analysis in 2-D is well supported with GIS tools, but a new tool was needed for visualization and analysis in four dimensions. Observational data (cruise profiles (xo, yo, z, to)), numerical circulation model fields (x,y,z,t), and trajectories (larval fish, 4-D line) need to be merged together in a meaningful way for visualization and analysis. As a first step toward this new framework, UNIDATA’s Integrated Data Viewer (IDV) has been used to create a set of tools for habitat analysis in 4-D. IDV was designed for 3-D+time geospatial data in the meteorological community. NetCDF JavaTM libraries allow the tool to read many file formats including remotely located data (e.g. data available via OPeNDAP ). With this project, IDV has been adapted for use in delineating habitat space for multiple fish species in the ocean. The ability to define and visualize boundaries of a water mass, which meets specific biologically relevant criteria (e.g., volume, connectedness, and inter-annual variability) based on model results and observational data, will allow managers to investigate the survival of individual year classes of commercially important fisheries. Better understanding of the survival of these year classes will lead to improved forecasting of fisheries recruitment.

Publication Year 2009
Title Pelagic habitat visualization: the need for a third (and fourth) dimension: HabitatSpace
DOI 10.1061/41121(388)12
Authors C Beegle-Krause, Tiffany Vance, Debbie Reusser, David Stuebe, Eoin Howlett
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70157569
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center