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St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Research and Support Capabilities

Research and Support Capabilities at the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

Shipboard Operations

Photo and Video Imaging


Along Track Reef Imaging System boat-mounted, georeferenced, digital imaging system
ATRIS boat-mounted, georeferenced, digital imaging system. [larger version]
The USGS developed an Along Track Reef Imaging System (ATRIS), a boat-mounted instrument that acquires continuous digital images of shallow-marine substrates. This system is deployed on a small vessel and incorporates subsystems for navigation, real-time differential GPS positioning, autonomous digital camera benthic imaging, and acoustic bathymetric surveying. The ATRIS system has been operational since Fall 2004. ATRIS imagery has been used to study sea grass beds at the Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve in Tampa Bay, Florida, and coral reef environments in Biscayne National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida. An ATRIS survey was conducted in 2006 to examine the benthic communities at Bucco Reef, a protected marine park located near Pigeon Point in the Caribbean island of Tobago. This survey resulted in the acquisition of 30,000 geo-located images and over 90,000 bathymetric measurements.

Open-source Linux PC software written for ATRIS datasets allows interactive geographic browsing, scaling, and extraction of specific substrate images for further quantitative analysis. The ATRIS Data Analysis and Processing Tool (ADAPT) includes a Classification tool that allows the user to define and classify the substrate for each image. Benthic habitats such as seagrass, shell hash, coral and sand bottom, can be examined and mapped using ATRIS images and ADAPT software.

For more information:

USGS ATRIS fact sheet:

Sound Waves article by D. Hickey:


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