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Bathymetric multibeam and lidar data for both islands were obtained from Australian Hydrographic Service, and GeoScience Australia. This data was viewed in Fledermaus and allowed planning of detailed survey transects. Regional scale bathymetry provided a key to understanding the geological context of the islands – how they rose up thousands of meters from the ocean floor (Figures 1 and 2) and the ongoing environmental processes.

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Figure 1: View of Christmas Island and surrounding multibeam batymetry. Data provided by Geoscience Australia.


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Figure 2: Plan view of Christmas Island and surrounding multibeam bathmetry. Data provided by Geoscience Australia.

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Fledermaus allowed SSS to lay out transect lines very precisely. The requirements for effective archaeological survey were combined with those of the vessel in the very early stages of planning (Figures 3 and 4).  Using fixed-depth colormaps set up to highlight specific depth ranges allowed SSS to carefully avoid areas that were too shallow for the survey vessel (Figure 5). The software also allowed the production of profiles for each transect, which assisted with further planning (Figure 6). Hard copies were taken into the field, where they were used for planning dive operations.

 

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Figure 3: Survey transects surrounding Christmas Island, laid out in Fledermaus. Data provided by Australian Hydrographic Service and Geoscience Australia.


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Figure 4: Survey transects surrounding Christmas Island, laid out in Fledermaus. Data provided by Australian Hydrographic Service.


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Figure 5: Survey transects surrounding Christmas Island, laid out in Fledermaus. The colormap in this image highlights specific depths, allowing easy avoidance of shallow areas during planning. Data provided by Australian Hydrographic Service.



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Figure 6: Example of profile image for survey transect, Cocos Island. Data provided by Geoscience Australia.

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