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Marine bubble flow quantification using wide-baseline stereo photogrammetry
She, M.K.; Weiss, T.; Song, Y.F.; Urban, P.; Greinert, J.; Koeser, K. (2022). Marine bubble flow quantification using wide-baseline stereo photogrammetry. Isprs Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 190: 322-341.
In: Isprs Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV: Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-2716; e-ISSN 1872-8235, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Gas bubbles; Gas flow rate quantification; Bubble stream characterization; Underwater vision; Free gas characterization; Wide baseline stereo; Silhouette-based calibration

Authors  Top 
  • She, M.K.
  • Weiss, T.
  • Song, Y.F.
  • Urban, P., more
  • Greinert, J., more
  • Koeser, K.

    Reliable quantification of natural and anthropogenic gas release (e.g. CO2, methane) from the seafloor into the water column, and potentially to the atmosphere, is a challenging task. While ship-based echo sounders such as single beam and multibeam systems allow detection of free gas, bubbles, in the water even from a great distance, exact quantification utilizing the hydroacoustic data requires additional parameters such as rise speed and bubble size distribution. Optical methods are complementary in the sense that they can provide high temporal and spatial resolution of single bubbles or bubble streams from close distance. In this contribution we introduce a complete instrument and evaluation method for optical bubble stream characterization targeted at flows of up to 100 ml/min and bubbles with a few millimeters radius. The dedicated instrument employs a high-speed deep sea capable stereo camera system that can record terabytes of bubble imagery when deployed at a seep site for later automated analysis. Bubble characteristics can be obtained for short sequences, then relocating the instrument to other locations, or in autonomous mode of definable intervals up to several days, in order to capture bubble flow variations due to e.g. tide dependent pressure changes or reservoir depletion. Beside reporting the steps to make bubble characterization robust and autonomous, we carefully evaluate the reachable accuracy to be in the range of 1-2% of the bubble radius and propose a novel auto-calibration procedure that, due to the lack of point correspondences, uses only the silhouettes of bubbles. The system has been operated successfully in 1000 m water depth at the Cascadia margin offshore Oregon to assess methane fluxes from various seep locations. Besides sample results we also report failure cases and lessons learnt during deployment and method development.

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