Skip to main content

Parts of the U.S. Government are closed. This site will not be updated; however NOAA websites and social media channels necessary to protect lives and property will be maintained. See for critical weather information. To learn more, see

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary National Marine Sanctuaries Home Page National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Home Page

Research Technical Report

Processing, Mosaicking And Management Of The Monterey Bay Digital Sidescan-Sonar Images

Chavez, Jr., P.S., J. Isbrecht, P. Galanis, G.L. Gabel, S.C. Sides, D.L. Soltesz, S.L. Ross, and M.G. Velasco (2002)

Marine Geology 181:305-315


Sidescan-sonar imaging systems with digital capabilities have now been available for approximately 20 years. In this paper we present several of the various digital image processing techniques developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and used to apply intensity/radiometric and geometric corrections, as well as enhance and digitally mosaic, sidescan-sonar images of the Monterey Bay region. New software run by a WWW server was designed and implemented to allow very large image data sets, such as the digital mosaic, to be easily viewed interactively, including the ability to roam throughout the digital mosaic at the web site in either compressed or full 1-m resolution. The processing is separated into the two different stages: preprocessing and information extraction. In the preprocessing stage, sensor-specific algorithms are applied to correct for both geometric and intensity/radiometric distortions introduced by the sensor. This is followed by digital mosaicking of the track-line strips into quadrangle format which can be used as input to either visual or digital image analysis and interpretation. An automatic seam removal procedure was used in combination with the interactive digital feathering/stenciling procedure to help minimize tone or seam matching problems between image strips from adjacent track-lines. The sidescan-sonar image processing package is part of the USGS Mini Image Processing System (MIPS) and has been designed to process data collected by any 'generic' digital sidescan-sonar imaging system. The USGS MIPS software, developed over the last 20 years as a public domain package, is available on the WWW at

URL:    Reviewed: November 20, 2017
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

Take Our Survey | Privacy Statement | Site Disclaimer
National Marine Sanctuaries | National Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration |