A healthy ocean where marine habitats and ecosystems are mapped and protected is one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals to sustainably use marine resources. Our study presents the first high-resolution benthic habitat map from Greenland integrating analyses of multibeam bathymetry and backscatter data, and ground-truth data including video sled, drop camera and day grab. The pilot area of 30 × 20 km is located on the continental shelf in central Disko Bay, West Greenland and all data were collected in a single, 10-day survey. Multibeam bathymetry data were gridded to a 10 × 10 m resolution, whereas backscatter mosaic was built from a 1 × 1 m grid cell to obtain higher resolution manifestation of seafloor properties. Ground-truth data consisted of 14 video transects, 17 drop camera deployments, and 17 sediment samples. Our results were verified with the published shallow seismic and vibrocore data from the Disko Bay region to link the geological background with the sedimentary environment. We distinguished five physical habitats in the area, based on the distribution of sediment types, water depth with general water masses and morphology. In addition, numerous gas seeps alongside pockmarks were observed in the area, as well as recent iceberg ploughmarks. The identified habitats were associated with two basic communities of benthic fauna, linked primarily to the distribution of sediments and representing hard bottom habitats (sessile fauna) and soft bottom habitats (shrimp/polychaetes). Our study is the first step toward mapping the entire seafloor of Disko Bay to provide a scientific context for the management of seafloor and marine resources.
- Habitat mapping
- seabed sediments
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima