Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Marine Science

Major Professor

David F. Naar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Peter A. Howd, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stanley D. Locker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carl T. Friedrichs, Ph.D.


Multibeam bathymetry, Sea level datum


The ability to detect buried mines on the seafloor remains one of the most important tasks in mine countermeasures. As such, there is a vested interest in the development of predictive models of mine burial. This research was conducted in support of the Office of Naval Research Program in Mine Burial Prediction. Repeat high-resolution multibeam bathymetry data were collected over the Indian Rocks Beach (IRB) mine burial experiment site during January through March of 2003, in order to observe in situ scour and burial of instrumented inert mines and mine-like cylinders. These data were also used to test the validity of the VIMS 2D mine burial model.

A set of six high-resolution multibeam surveys were collected over the IRB experiment site. Three study sites within the IRB site were chosen: two fine sand sites, a shallow one located in ~ 13 meters of water depth and a deep site located in ~ 14 meters of water depth; and a coarse sand site in ~ 13 meters. Results from these surveys indicate that mines deployed in fine sand are upwards of 74.5% buried within two months of deployment. Mines deployed in the coarse sand showed a lesser amount of scour, burying until they presented roughly the same hydrodynamic roughness of the surrounding rippled bedforms. In general, scour around the mines formed pits ~ 0.30 meters deep, with the most pronounced scour occurring at the ends of the mine.

The multibeam data were also used to test the VIMS 2D mine burial model, which estimates percent burial of cylindrical mines based on predictions of wave-induced scour. The model proved valid for use in areas of fine sand, sufficiently predicting burial over the course of the experiment. In the area of coarse sand, the model greatly overpredicted the amount of burial. This is believed to be due to the presence of ripples around the mines, which affect local bottom morphodynamics and are not accounted for in the model. This issue is currently being addressed by modelers.