This technique has been used since 2018, following a collaboration with the 100 Island Challenge team lead by Professors Stuart Sandin et Brian Zgliczynski from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (San Diego, California, USA). Read more about it here.
The method consists in taking around 2000 pictures of a 10m square (100 m²) portion of the reef. The whole area is positioned following the method used by the 100 Island Challenge team and in the middle of the Photo-quadrat coral transect. The area is covered using an 18mm lens and a 50mm lens.
The technique uses the 2000 pictures to generate a 3D model using Agisoft Photoscan in the form of a dense cloud or a mesh model. The dense cloud is then fed to a software developped by the Scripps Institution where virtual quadrats can be generated to derive coral cover (and possibly other substrate cover). The software also extracts points along lines on the generated surface that can be processed to obtain rugosity. Two methods are used : projection on the floor plan, and projection to a mean slope plan.
To compute the rugosity, the following by products are available upon request to Serge PLANES:
- the dense cloud in PLY format (between 50 and 70GB of data)
- a simplified 3D model in OBJ format (between 50 and 100MB)
- an orthomosaic picture in JPG format (around 10MB)
- all the original picture