Biochemical Survey







A Laser Survey

LIDAR data of a site on the Thames Estuary, UK, was visualized in Processing. Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) is a remote sensing technology that provides a height field of the topography of a site. LIDAR data sets are widely used across many fields, including geography and geomatics to create high-resolution maps.

Geo-referenced data sets from a biochemical field study were visualised and overlaid with the LIDAR data. Dissolved oxygen, PH and salinity measurements are used to indicate the general health of a marine environment in relation to the availability of nutrients. Nutrient availability is of interest as an integral aspect of the marine biochemical environment.

This field study was conceived in the context of other research and ideas relating to the role that biofilms play in shaping the geomorphology of the coastal landscape. Diatoms are nutrient dependent, and will flourish or die depending on the nutrients available. Mucus-secreting diatom colonies, referred to as biofilms, bind and stabilize sediment from the incoming tide, leading to the eventual evolution of saltmarshes. If nutrients are not available, the opposite effect can happen, and sediment is eroded.

The proposition here is that the diatom biofilm has architectural consequences for the design of the coastal landscape.