Multibeam Rotary Sonar
Multibeam rotary sonars measure water depth along several tracks parallel to the platform track by timing pulses of sound reflected on the seafloor. Multibeam rotary sonars can monitor their environment in all directions. Mounted on a platform, a multibeam transducer rotates at fixed increments and intervals to survey up to 360 degrees.
Repeated surveys enable scientists to analyze the changing conditions of the seafloor (e.g., due to sedimentation or bioturbation) or occurrences of transient objects that backscatter in the water column (e.g. fish, gas bubbles). For example, an Imagenex multibeam sonar has been used to detect methane gas plumes that escape from the seafloor at the "Bubbly Gulch" near Bullseye Vent at Clayoquot Slope.
Individual instruments of the above category, which are (or have been) connected to our observatories. Click an instrument for detailed information.
Click the instrument categories below for descriptions and lists of instruments belonging to that category.