The identification of macroalgal beds is a crucial component for the description of fjord ecosystems. Direct, biological sampling is still the most popular investigation technique but acoustic methods are becoming increasingly recognized as a very efficient tool for the assessment of benthic communities. In 2007 we carried out the first acoustic survey of the littoral areas in Kongsfjorden. A 2.68 km2 area comprised within a 12.40 km2 euphotic zone was mapped along the fjord's coast using single- and multi-beam echosounders. The singlebeam echosounder (SBES) proved to be a very efficient and reliable tool for macroalgae detection in Arctic conditions. The multibeam echosounder (MBES) was very useful in extending the SBES survey range, even though it's ability in discriminating benthic communities was limited. The final result of our investigation is a map of the macroalgae distribution around the fjord, showing 39% macroalgae coverage (1.09 km2) of investigated area between isobaths -0.70 m and -30 m. Zonation analysis showed that most of the studied macroalgae areas occur up to 15 m depth (93%). These results were confirmed by biological sampling and observation in key areas. The potential of acoustic imaging of macrophytes, and a proposed methodology for the processing of acoustic data, are presented in this paper along with preliminary studies on the acoustic reflectivity of macroalgae, also highlighting differences among species. These results can be applied to future monitoring of the evolution of kelp beds in different areas of the Arctic, and in the rest of the world.
In the paper the author has described the visualization methods in acoustic flow fields and show how these methods may assist scientists to gain understanding of complex acoustic energy flow in real-life field. A graphical method will be presented to determine the real acoustic wave distribution in the flow field. Visualization of research results, which is unavailable by conventional acoustics metrology, may be shown in the form of intensity streamlines in space, as a shape of floating acoustic wave and intensity isosurface in three-dimensional space. In traditional acoustic metrology, the analysis of acoustic fields concerns only the distribution of pressure levels (scalar variable), however in a real acoustic field both the scalar (acoustic pressure) and vector (the acoustic particle velocity) effects are closely related. Only when the acoustic field is described by both the potential and kinetic energies, we may understand the mechanisms of propagation, diffraction and scattering of acoustic waves on obstacles, as a form of energy image. This attribute of intensity method can also validate the results of CFD/CAA numerical modeling which is very important in any industry acoustic investigations.