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Research Technical Report

The Role of Seafloor Topography in the Performance of a Towed Camera Sled J. Hinkle (April 2008)

A Capstone Project at California State University, Monterey Bay


The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) was designated in 1992 off the Central Coast of California. It was created for the purpose of resource protection, research, education, and public use. Collecting data in a marine environment can be very difficult and expensive depending on the type of platform and application. The goal of my capstone project is to assess the operational parameters of a towed camera sled that is owned and operated by the MBNMS so that it can be appropriately assigned to answer relevant management objectives. One of the operational parameters I am addressing is how much time dose the camera sled needs to be in the water to collect an adequate amount of usable data. The methods that were used are the altitude was noted at 15 sec intervals for the duration of each transect. The data were then recorded into an Excel spreadsheet for statistical analysis. The results for the mean percent of the transect that the camera sled was at or below one meter for the high topography was 48.40. The mean percent of the low topography that was at or below one meter was 88.61. The results of the time for high topography had a mean bottom time of 28.65 minutes at or below one meter for high topography with an average time of transect being 59.55 minutes. For low topography substrate the mean bottom time at or below one meter was 50.8 minutes with an average transect time of 57 minutes. The conclusions are that there was a significant difference between high and low topography (p-value) I believe that the camera sled owned and operated by MBNMS can be used to collect data in both high and low topography.