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An improved microcomputer-assisted side-scan sonar has been developed which provides automatic correction for slant angle and ship's speed. Sonographs are scale correct and give true plan views of the sea floor. Automatic signal amplitude corrections are applied so that darkness tones relate directly to the backscattering properties of the bottom morphology and sediments. The digitally acquired data can be displayed in real time or stored on magnetic tape for replay and image enhancement. This system is particularly useful for sea floor mapping, since true-scale mosaics of large areas of sea floor can be obtained. Also, accurate remapping is now possible, and data are suitable for a variety of analysis procedures which yield information on sea floor morphology and sedimen characteristics. The system is being successfully used in mapping the entire submarine geomorphology of the Mississippi delta.
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