• Model

Digital Terrain Model: Otanerau Bay

This is an interactive, 3D topographical model - called a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) - of the seafloor within a benthic flux chamber from a recent field trip for the Ecological responses to cumulative effects project. 

The DTM allows us to develop new ways of measuring how active the sediment-dwelling animals are in different communities and habitats – we have demonstrated in previous work that this activity measure is a better indicator of some ecosystem function (eg remineralisation and denitrification) than actual animal abundance. 
We will use DTM images like this to help inform the understanding about the ecological status of the different places we sampled in the Marlborough Sounds, and how that links to the provision of ecosystem services.


Interact with the model

Click on the triangle button below to load the model. Click and hold the mouse to explore the seafloor. Scroll to zoom in/out.

The dips and peaks you can see are tubes, burrows and feeding mounds generated by the animals that live below the sediment surface and drive many important ecosystem services.


Location: Otanerau Bay, part of East Bay in the Marlborough Sounds

Credit: This DTM was created by Dr Stefano Schenone (post doctoral fellow at University of Auckland and on the team for the Ecological responses to cumulative effects project)

This interactive image is based on the mapping of the surface topography within a 0.25 m square benthic flux chamber that we used for estimating fluxes of carbon, nitrogen, phosphate and oxygen. Models like this can be used to link biogenic sedimentary features to ecosystem function.


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