Sediment Profile Imagery
Sediment Profile Imagery (SPI) is an underwater technique for photographing the interface between the seabed and the overlying water. The technique is used to measure or estimate biological, chemical, and physical processes occurring in the first few centimetres of sediment, pore water, and the important benthic boundary layer of water. Time-lapse imaging (tSPI) is used to examine biological activity over natural cycles, like tides and daylight or anthropogenic variables like feeding loads in aquaculture. SPI systems cost between tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars and weigh between 20 and 400 kilograms. Traditional SPI units can be effectively used to explore continental shelf and abyssal depths. Recently developed SPI-Scan or rSPI (rotational SPI) systems can now also be used to inexpensively investigate shallow (<50m) freshwater, estuarine, and marine systems.