Earth and Ocean Observation
Run by School of Ocean Sciences
20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Dei Huws
Overall aims and purpose
This module is essential to scientists who acquire field data. Almost all such data need to be positioned in space. Whilst the latest satellite technology appears to make this a trivial task, there are pitfalls that in some cases have resulted in the loss of millions of dollars. Geodesy is the study of the shape of the earth, map projections, coordinate systems and geodetic datums. This is covered in the introductory section of the course. Most blunders in modern position finding arise from a lack of appreciation of geodesy-related issues.
Following this is a description to and explanation of position-fixing systems; principally satellite-based systems such as GPS, GLONASS and GALILEO.
As a continuation of the theme of spatial data, the topic of remote sensing is then presented. Remote sensing provides a synoptic view of the Earth, and here an introduction is given to the commonly-used satellite and airborne instruments to measure and monitor variability in the atmosphere and oceans. This section of the module begins with an introduction to the essential underlying physics and properties of the electromagnetic spectrum upon which all satellite systems and many airborne systems are based. This section will cover the measurement of sea surface temperature, sea surface height, sea surface roughness, wave height, ocean colour (i.e. primary productivity) and dissolved organic matter. You will also learn how these measurements are applied in monitoring sea level, locating fronts and mesoscale eddies, guiding fisheries management etc. The use of satellite data will be explored in two Matlab practicals.
The final aspect of the course deals with underwater acoustic mapping - an essential tool for anyone needing to evaluate the seafloor for both conservation and exploitation. Initially a basic theoretical description of the processes involved in the field of marine acoustics is given. This aspect is reinforced by the three acoustic problem exercises. Then different aspects of acoustic surveying are dealt with in detail. These include bathymetrical surveying, sub-bottom profiling and side scan sonar. Details of the equipment, surveying methodology, data processing and data interpretation are covered for each technique. These are reinforced in the three practical sessions.
NOTE: Students who are considering this module as an optional choice should bear in mind that you will be expected to solve mathematical problems as part of the assessment. The general standard would be at GCSE level i.e. no calculus, logs etc., but algebraic manipulation required.
Shape of the Earth
Co-ordinate systems and transformations
Position fixing systems
Galileo and Glonass
Underwater positioning systems
Remote sensing systems
Corrections applied to the data
Processing of remote sensing data
Applications of instrumentation to measure sea surface height, sea surface roughness, temperature, ocean colour, dissolved organic matter
Handling and analysing satellite data.
Acoustic instrumentation and survey techniques
Applications of seafloor mapping
Partial understanding of basic principles of geodesy, positioning, remote sensing and underwater acoustic propagation; Basic appreciation and limited understanding of the potential applications of remote sensing and acoustic techniques; Basic ability to solve numerical problems associated with acoustic propagation in the water column; Basic ability to process, present and interpret a variety of spatial data.
Clear understanding of the basic principles of geodesy, positioning, remote sensing and acoustic propagation; Comprehensive appreciation and clear understanding of the potential applications of remote sensing and acoustic techniques in earth systems analysis, including applications in physical oceanography, marine geology and marine biology including ability to solve numerical problems associated with satellite design and application and the propagation and interactions of EM and ocean waves; Ability to solve numerical problems associated with acoustic propagation in the water column; Ability to process, present and interpret a variety of spatial data.
Thorough understanding of the basic principles of geodesy, positioning, remote sensing and sound propagation in ocean waters and at the sediment/water interface; Highly developed appreciation and thorough understanding of the potential applications of remote sensing and acoustic techniques in earth systems analysis, including applications in physical oceanography, marine geology and marine biology including keen ability to solve numerical problems associated with satellite design and the propagation and interactions of EM and ocean waves; Highly developed ability to solve numerical problems associated with acoustic propagation in the water column; Highly developed ability to process, present and interpret a variety of spatial data.
To understand and appreciate the potential applications of acoustic techniques in underwater exploration, including applications in physical oceanography, marine geology and marine biology
To understand the behaviour of EM radiation and its utility in remote sensing systems
Understand datums and their significance in terms of mapping and position fixing
Understand how satellite position systems work and to appreciate their accuracy limits, practical limitations and pitfalls in their use
To acquire levelling and GPS data so as to create contour maps of reduced height for a particular site
To understand how positions may be fixed in an underwater setting
To have the ability to solve numerical problems associated with acoustic propagation in the water column and to process, present and interpret a variety of marine acoustic data.
To appreciate satellite remote sensing as a source of oceanographic data and to have knowledge of the different of satellite sensors & their associated measurements
To have an introductory capability to process and use remote sensing data
To be clear about how these systems are applied in understanding earth systems
To understand the basic principles of sound propagation in ocean waters and at the sediment/water interface.
|COURSEWORK||Surveying field practical||10|
|COURSEWORK||Matlab plotting session||5|
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Leads to assessment Surveying Field Practical
|Practical classes and workshops||
Leads to assessments "Remote Sensing" and all "Acoustics" assessments.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
Subject specific skills
Intellectual skills: Recognising and using acoustic and electromagnetic theories within the context of the subject material. Recognising ethical issues of underwater acoustic techniques (environmental impacts).
Practical skills: Conducting field practical tasks – accuracy in data acquisition and clarity in recording. Being aware of the health and safety issues related to both field and computing work.
Communication skills: Receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (numerical, graphical and verbal). Communicating appropriately in written, mapped and graphical forms.
Numeracy and C & IT skills: Appreciating issues of sample data collection, accuracy and precision for contour mapping; recording and analysis of data in the field. Processing, interpreting and presenting data, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques and packages. Solving numerical problems using non-computer based techniques. Using the internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information.
Interpersonal/teamwork skills: Identifying individual and collective goals and responsibilities, being flexible in terms of their position in the group, and performing in a manner appropriate to these roles. Recognising and respecting the views and opinions of others in the group.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/osx-2005.html
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- F650: BSC Geological Oceanography year 2 (BSC/GEO)
- 8S54: BSc Geological Oceanography (with International Experience) year 2 (BSC/GEOIE)
- F842: BSc Marine Geography year 2 (BSC/MARG)
- F710: BSC Marine Environmental Studies year 2 (BSC/MES)
- F713: BSc Marine Environmental Stud with International Experience year 2 (BSC/MESIE)
- F7F6: BSc Ocean and Geophysics year 2 (BSC/OGP)
- F700: BSC Ocean Science year 2 (BSC/OS)
- F652: MSci Geological Oceanography year 2 (MSCI/GO)
- F734: MSci Physical Oceanography year 2 (MSCI/PO)
Optional in courses:
- C183: BSC Appl.Terrestrial & Marine Ec 4 year 2 (BSC/APTME)
- C180: BSc Appl. Terrestrial &Marine Ec year 2 (BSC/ATME)
- C184: BSc App Terrestrial & Marine Ecology with Intl Experience year 2 (BSC/ATMEIE)
- F900: BSC Environmental Science year 2 (BSC/ES)
- 8U71: BSc Environmental Science (with International Experience) year 2 (BSC/ESIE)
- F803: BSc Geography with Environmental Forestry year 2 (BSC/GEF)
- F804: BSc Geography with Environmental Forestry year 2 (BSC/GEF4)
- F800: BSC Geography year 2 (BSC/GEOG)
- F802: BSc Geography (with International Experience) year 2 (BSC/GEOGIE)
- F840: BSc Physical Geography and Oceanography year 2 (BSC/PGO)
- F850: Master of Environmental Science year 2 (M/ENVSCI)
- F801: MGeog Geography year 2 (MGEOG/G)
- F805: MGeog Geography with International Experience year 2 (MGEOG/GIE)