Everything you need to know about hydrographic surveys

Hydrographic surveying is a vast field that has undergone several recent technological advancements.

70% of the earth is covered with water. It is for this reason that people came up with different types of ships to move on water and transport their products from one place to another. It is therefore important to learn about sub-surface topography and the seabed if we want to travel on the water safely – as well as for ocean mining purposes. This is usually achieved through hydrographic surveys. These are underwater studies.

Introduction to hydrographic surveys

Hydrographic surveys are also known as underwater surveys or hydrography. This is the science of determining the features of the underwater area. Some of the features to be studied include topographic features, water depth, and tide measurements. Being able to understand the elevations and contortions of the ocean floor has a lot of practical uses.

The bathymetric survey is an important type of hydrography. This survey originates from the Greek terms bathus and metron. Bathus means deep and metron means measurement. This is the underwater equivalent to a land survey known as hypsometry.

However, unlike land surveys that use stationary and static equipment to do measurements, bathymetry involves using a dynamic ship that is moving and doing observations. It is therefore important to make some special allowances for any errors that may arise out of this movement.

The purpose of hydrography

The main purpose of hydrographic surveyors is to estimate the depth of water. This is often achieved through bathymetric surveys. There are also some other common uses of hydrography that include dredging analysis, waterway planning and wreck location.

Another application of hydrography is the construction and planning of harbours, docks and dams. It is therefore important to make sure that the depth of water around and in ports are sufficient to allow shops to end and berth safely. Also, the portion of the seabed that supports various floating structures should have a very strong foundation. Dams require adequate knowledge of the surrounding area to ensure the right structural strength.

Surveying is also very important in engineering since it helps engineers plan land reclamation projects. When data on the seabed topography and composition is revealed, sites to carry out reclamation can be properly selected. In addition to this, engineers can be able to determine the project’s feasibility in the planning phase. Surveying helps in controlling floods by predicting any possible flooding zones and putting measures in place to counter this. It is possible to predict flooding zones by studying how the floor of the ocean changes around the coastline and by correlating this structure with historic records of tsunamis or flooding.

Another application of hydrographic surveyors is in determining shorelines that normally extend around a coast. Preparing accurate shoreline charts is very useful in doing studies on the effect of water bodies on land and determining the actual maritime border of countries. Hydrography determines the average sea level that plays a critical role in almost every aspect of life. From helping the government in creating charts for coastlines, they also affect the launch of rockets and space shuttles.

Leave a Reply