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Automated Detection of Hydrothermal Emission Signatures from Multi-Beam Echo Sounder Images Using Deep Learning
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  • Kazuhide Mimura ,
  • Kentaro Nakamura ,
  • Kazuhiro Takao ,
  • Kazutaka Yasukawa ,
  • Yasuhiro Kato
Kazuhide Mimura
Chiba Institute of Technology, Chiba Institute of Technology, Chiba Institute of Technology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Kentaro Nakamura
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Kazuhiro Takao
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Kazutaka Yasukawa
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Yasuhiro Kato
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Seafloor massive sulfide deposits have attracted attention as a mineral resource, as they contain a wide variety of base, precious, and other valuable critical metals. Previous studies have shown that signatures of hydrothermal activity can be detected by a multi-beam echo sounder (MBES), which would be beneficial for exploring sulfide deposits. Although detecting such signatures from acoustic images is currently performed by skilled humans, automating this process could lead to improved efficiency and cost effectiveness of exploration for seafloor deposits. Herein, we attempted to establish a method for automated detection of MBES water column anomalies using deep learning models. First, we compared the “Mask R-CNN” and “YOLO-v5” detection model architectures, wherein YOLO-v5 yielded higher F1 scores. We then compared the number of training classes and found that models trained with two classes (signal and noise) exhibited superior performance compared with models trained with only one class (signal). Finally, we examined the number of trainable parameters and obtained the best model performance when the YOLO-v5l model with a large number of trainable parameters was used in the two-class training process. The best model had a precision of 0.928, a recall of 0.881, and an F1 score of 0.904. Using this method, the detection speed was 20−25 ms per frame, which is faster than the pace at which MBES images can generally be generated. Therefore, our best model can be applied in the field for automatic and real-time exploration of seafloor hydrothermal deposits.
This work has been submitted to the IEEE for possible publication. Copyright may be transferred without notice, after which this version may no longer be accessible.
2023Published in IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing volume 16 on pages 2703-2710. 10.1109/JSTARS.2023.3247467