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Selection of Algorithms

to Determine Foot of the Continental Slope
Programme: MSc. Hydrographic Surveying
Name of Student: Nawi Abdullah
Supervisor: Dr. Jonathan Iliffe
UCL Department of Civil,
Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
Gower St., London, WC1E 6BT
Research Methodology
Comparison on selection of algorithms in Geocap
and ArcGIS to determine FOS in 2D profile and 3D map.
Geocap Shelf Software Workflow
i. Generate derivative map
ii.Generate Gradient band analysis
ArcGIS 10.1
i. Computation of curvature map (Curvature Spatial Analyst tool)
ii. Generate 2D slope raster map (Slope Spatial Analyst tool)
Result and Data Analysis
Conclusion and Recommendation
 Location of selected FOS ideally determine in a base of slope region between the continent oceanic transition (COT)
 The proposed algorithm from Geocap,Change of Average Gradient give advantages to locate FOS and useful for profile with long interval length
 Deeper investigation on the geological and geophysical evidence to determine FOS to strengthen the result gathered from these algorithm
 Choice of software to determine FOS will be advantages if using Geocap - combination of method by Bennet (1998) , Vanicek (1996) and Geocap
(1) AMANTE, C. AND EAKINS, B.W., March 2009. ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model: Procedures, Data Sources and Analysis. NOAA
Technical Memorandum NESDIS NGDC-24, 19 pp.
(2) CLCS/11, 1999. Scientific and Technical Guidelines of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. United Nations Publication, New York,
91 pages.
1. Filtering Algorithm
o Linear re-sampling
o Spline approx.
o Douglas Peucker
o Median Filter
o Gliding average filter
o Fourier low pass filter
Computation of Maximum
Change in the Gradient
o Change of Gradient
o Change of Average Gradient
o Gradient
o Average Gradient
o Gradient Calculation
Select 2
(highest) in BOS region
Choose one method
Select bathymetric profile
perpendicular to the
direction of isobaths
2. Filtering Algorithm
o Linear re-sampling
o Spline
o Douglas Peucker
o Median Filter
o Gliding average filter
o Fourier low pass filter
Article 76 of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
defines the foot of the continental slope (FOS) as: “In the absence of
evidence to the contrary, the foot of the continental slope shall be
determined as the point of maximum change in the gradient at its base.”
Aims and Objective
 Study various of algorithm used to determine maximum change in the
gradient to locate the FOS
 Testing selection of algorithm and locate the FOS according to the
Scientific and Technical Guidelines
 To explore the difficulty and problem arise to determine FOS
Area of Study
Dangerous Ground area at southern most part of
South China Sea
Data Source
ETOPO1 1 arc-minute global relief model of Earth's
surface that integrates land topography and ocean
bathymetry downloaded from National Geophysical
Data Centre (NGDC), US
Software Used
Geocap v. 6.4.1 and ArcGIS 10.1
FOS position, 2
derivative =
Red line = 2
BOS Region Grey Point = Seafloor
Yellow line = filter output
Computation of 2
derivative Profile distance
Result 1:
map demonstrate
the morphology
and prolongation
from the land mass
Result 4:
Steepest slope
shaded in red
Result 2:
Selected FOS (red
circle) with 2500m
isobaths (blue line)
Result 3:
Map of Gradient
Band Analysis
combine with
selected FOS
Result 5:
curvature map
shaded in white
Result 6:
Map of ETOPO1
bathymetric data with
selected FOS at base
of slope region