About this Research Topic

Abstract Submission Deadline 31 October 2022
Manuscript Submission Deadline 30 December 2022

Geomorphometry is the science that enables quantitative characterization of the terrain. This is a rapidly evolving discipline. The increasing availability of high-resolution datasets and the computational resources with which to analyze them are facilitating the exploration of new natural systems, many of which are at the bottom of the oceans.



Marine geomorphometry has grown in recent years as a distinct sub-discipline. While the issues encountered in terrestrial geomorphometry are also relevant underwater, they often manifest differently. Bathymetric data representing the depth of the seafloor are often the only continuous high-resolution datasets available to study large marine areas, and their analysis using geomorphometry increases the information we have on benthic environments. Such information is directly applicable to modeling and mapping habitat distributions, submarine geomorphology and geology, ecological processes, and oceanographic and hydrodynamics patterns.



The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), known as the Ocean Decade, is expected to drive technological and methodological developments in ocean mapping. National and regional initiatives, together with global ones like The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project, which aims to create a complete high-resolution bathymetric map of the oceans by the end of the decade, will produce an unprecedented influx of seafloor data. Marine geomorphometry approaches will be critical to enhancing the potential of these datasets for describing benthic environments. This will have important implications for supporting the spatial management and conservation of marine resources, ecosystems at risk, and sensitive habitats. Marine geomorphometry also has the potential to contribute to the development of a sustainable blue economy.



For this Research Topic, we invite contributions addressing all aspects of geomorphometry that introduce new knowledge or approaches to improve understanding of the seafloor or coastal environments. Technical review articles and submissions reviewing the challenges faced by this active field of research are also welcomed. The efforts involved in mapping the seafloor and deriving morphometric information from these maps require adopting an interdisciplinary and multiscale perspective that includes fields of geology, geomorphology, oceanography, underwater acoustics, species distribution modeling, and benthic ecology. Multi-, inter-, and cross-disciplinary contributions are therefore highly encouraged. Authors may solicit feedback from the editors prior to submission to assess the relevance of their proposed work to this special issue. Presentation of relevant work at the 2023 conference of the International Society for Geomorphometry will also be encouraged.

Keywords: Seafloor Mapping, Bathymetry, Benthic Environment, Submarine Geomorphology, Habitat Mapping, Underwater Acoustics, Multibeam Data


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Geomorphometry is the science that enables quantitative characterization of the terrain. This is a rapidly evolving discipline. The increasing availability of high-resolution datasets and the computational resources with which to analyze them are facilitating the exploration of new natural systems, many of which are at the bottom of the oceans.



Marine geomorphometry has grown in recent years as a distinct sub-discipline. While the issues encountered in terrestrial geomorphometry are also relevant underwater, they often manifest differently. Bathymetric data representing the depth of the seafloor are often the only continuous high-resolution datasets available to study large marine areas, and their analysis using geomorphometry increases the information we have on benthic environments. Such information is directly applicable to modeling and mapping habitat distributions, submarine geomorphology and geology, ecological processes, and oceanographic and hydrodynamics patterns.



The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), known as the Ocean Decade, is expected to drive technological and methodological developments in ocean mapping. National and regional initiatives, together with global ones like The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project, which aims to create a complete high-resolution bathymetric map of the oceans by the end of the decade, will produce an unprecedented influx of seafloor data. Marine geomorphometry approaches will be critical to enhancing the potential of these datasets for describing benthic environments. This will have important implications for supporting the spatial management and conservation of marine resources, ecosystems at risk, and sensitive habitats. Marine geomorphometry also has the potential to contribute to the development of a sustainable blue economy.



For this Research Topic, we invite contributions addressing all aspects of geomorphometry that introduce new knowledge or approaches to improve understanding of the seafloor or coastal environments. Technical review articles and submissions reviewing the challenges faced by this active field of research are also welcomed. The efforts involved in mapping the seafloor and deriving morphometric information from these maps require adopting an interdisciplinary and multiscale perspective that includes fields of geology, geomorphology, oceanography, underwater acoustics, species distribution modeling, and benthic ecology. Multi-, inter-, and cross-disciplinary contributions are therefore highly encouraged. Authors may solicit feedback from the editors prior to submission to assess the relevance of their proposed work to this special issue. Presentation of relevant work at the 2023 conference of the International Society for Geomorphometry will also be encouraged.

Keywords: Seafloor Mapping, Bathymetry, Benthic Environment, Submarine Geomorphology, Habitat Mapping, Underwater Acoustics, Multibeam Data


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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