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Environmental change is a growing international concern, calling for the regular monitoring, studying and preserving of detailed information about the evolution of underwater ecosystems. For example, fragile coral reefs are exposed to various sources of hazards and potential destruction, and need close observation. Computer vision offers promising technologies to build 3D models of an environment from two-dimensional images. The state of the art techniques have enabled high-quality digital reconstruction of large-scale structures, e.g., buildings and urban environments, but only sparse representations or dense reconstruction of small objects have been obtained from underwater video and still imagery. The application of standard 3D reconstruction methods to challenging underwater environments typically produces unsatisfactory results.
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