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When unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) perform missions near the ocean floor, optical sensors can be used to improve local navigation. Video mosaics allow to efficiently process the images acquired by the vehicle, and also to obtain position estimates. We discuss in this paper the role of lens distortions in this context, proving that degenerate mosaics have their origin not only in the selected motion model or in registration errors, but also in the cumulative effect of radial distortion residuals. Additionally, we present results on the accuracy of different feature-based approaches for self-correction of lens distortions that may guide the choice of appropriate techniques for correcting distortions.