A GO-PRO underwater stereo camera kit has been used to measure the 3D topography (bathymetry) of a patch of seafloor producing a point cloud with a spatial data density of 15 measurements per 3 mm grid square and an standard deviation of less than 1 cm A GO-PRO camera is a fixed focus, 11 megapixel, still-frame (or 1080p high-definition video) camera, whose small form-factor and water-proof housing has made it popular with sports enthusiasts. A stereo camera kit is available providing a waterproof housing (to 61 m / 200 ft) for a pair of cameras. Measures of seafloor micro-bathymetrycapable of resolving seafloor features less than 1 cm in amplitude were possible from the stereoreconstruction. Bathymetric measurements of this scale provide important ground-truth data and boundary condition information for modeling of larger scale processes whose details depend on small-scale variations. Examples include modeling of turbulent water layers, seafloor sediment transfer and acoustic backscatter from bathymetric echo sounders.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

IEEE Oceans

Conference Date

Oct 14 - Oct 19, 2012

Publisher Place

Hampton Roads, VA, USA



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type

Conference Proceeding