When Bathymetry Determines Who Might Live and Who Might Die

Bathymetry can Focus the Energy of Tsunamis, Storm Surges and Wind Waves
The importance of bathymetry may be obvious to mariners, ocean modellers and marine geologists, but among the general public only the boating community seems to understand the importance of knowing water depths and the shape of the sea bottom. Most uses of bathymetry are not compelling enough to attract the attention of the general public, yet there are many instances where knowing the shape of the bottom can save lives. Most dramatic are those times when the coast is struck by huge tsunamis, storm surges or wind waves. The direction and size of these long waves are affected by bathymetry... (read more)
2013-12-04 04:32:53

Surveying and Charting

Hydro International Interviews Rear Admiral (R) Andres Roque Di Vincenzo
Surveying, charting and monitoring a complex and vast area which includes features from rivers, waterways, a long Atlantic coast to the Antarctic Peninsula environment, is a very challenging task. Only a well-equipped Governmental Hydrographic Institution can cope with it. The Servicio de Hidrografia Naval (SHN) of the Republic of Argentina, continuously produces the nautical information needed by sailors and the scientific world. In doing this, SHN benefits from its membership of the International Hydrographic Organization and of the Organisation of the Antarctic Treaty. Rear Admiral Di Vincenzo, who has headed the SHN for the past four years, explains how they... (read more)
2011-12-19 03:33:53

A New Beginning

ISO 9001-2000 for French Hydrographic Office
As pointed out by many preceding the French Hydrographic Office, SHOM, on the path of certification, the rapid growth of information systems and automation has often outpaced updating of procedures. This has resulted in a growing gap between what was being actually done and what was written on what was to be done. For organisations like SHOM, where safety and traceability are nearly sacred, this gap had to be filled. In addition, the systems used for surveys and for production ashore are growing in complexity and their quality has a direct impact on the quality of products, including integrity of... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00

100 Years of Service

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA Corps). The law forming the service was signed on 22 May 1917 and overnight made the field officers of the then United States Coast and Geodetic Survey uniformed commissioned officers. Literally hundreds of hydrographers, topographers and geodesists have since served in this uniformed service. As such, a look back at the origins and history of this organisation is in order. Many elements of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its commissioned officer service are direct descendants of the US Coast... (read more)
2017-03-13 02:16:05

Invited Reply

Job Satisfaction?
Working conditions in offshore surveying are sometimes pretty tough and demanding. Nevertheless, some hydrographic surveyors remain in the field until their retirement. Others leave the scene after a couple of years. The number of students attending certain educational institutes to train for this work is declining to an unacceptably minimal level. Hydro international was interested in investigating the motivation of hydrographic surveyors, their work attitude, job-satisfaction, etc. and interviewed three categories on the matter: students, surveyors and retired surveyors. Question to students What is your motivation in becoming a hydrographic surveyor, where and what do you study and what do... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00

Seeking a Rift

Confused by Fracture Zones
In 1953, Hans Pettersson published Westward Ho with the Albatross, a popular account of his around-the-world scientific cruise on the Swedish sailing ship Albatross. In it he stated, “… geological evidence found in the last thirty years indicates that the Ridge is probably built up by extensive submarine volcanic action, i.e. by molten magma from deeper layers in the crust being extruded through an enormously long fissure in the bed of the Atlantic.” Although Pettersson and earlier authors certainly came close to describing the concept of a rift, it was not until the late 1950s that a rift and rift... (read more)
2014-12-15 02:06:18

Discovering the True Nature of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge: Part I

Prior to the mid-19th century, the floor of the world ocean was virtually a clean slate. Nothing was known of the bottom of the deep sea with the exception of a few sporadic soundings. In the early 1850s, this began to change as Matthew Fontaine Maury obtained use of one small ship, the USS Dolphin, and sent it out on two expeditions, one in 1852 under Lieutenant Samuel Philips Lee and the second in 1853 under Lieutenant Otway Berryman. Apparently one sounding of 1,720 fathoms was by Lee southwest of the Azores Islands, but under Berryman a number of relatively... (read more)
2014-09-02 11:50:26

Acoustic Technology in Historic Wreck Recovery

Remaining parts of the famous 16th century ship the Mary Rose have been recovered in Portsmouth Harbour entrance using standard offshore equipment. The use of acoustic navigation enabled both divers and ROV to work with more efficiency, precision and more conveniently. One of the more memorable broadcasts seen on British television in 1982 showed the lifting of the wreck of the Mary Rose, sunk outside Portsmouth Harbour in 1545. Although regularly monitored, the wreck site has remained largely untouched since then. In December 2002 the UK Ministry of Defence approached the Mary Rose Trust and relevant heritage agencies to inform... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00

A Casualty of War

A Long and Faithful Career
In 1899, a new ship was launched at the Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey, USA. This vessel was a Coast and Geodetic Survey ship designed and constructed for rugged service in the far reaches of Alaska. Although 196 feet long, the ship appeared boxy, almost like a section had been cut out of its middle. Primarily a steam vessel, it was also brigantine rigged. When under sail, the ship carried 4,500 feet of canvas. Its new civilian commander was Frank Wally Perkins and its name was Pathfinder. The complement consisted of civilian C&GS officers and a crew of 65... (read more)
2014-05-02 02:18:44

Satellite Derived Bathymetry Migration

From Laboratories to Chart Production Routine
Much has been said about Satellite Derived Bathymetry (SDB), but with the exception of SHOM, which led to the introduction of a number of SDB charts into the French chart series, next to nothing has been implemented within the international hydrographic community. This article aims to update readers as SDB, thanks to new generation satellites and modelling, seeing the light after going through a thirty years’ tunnel. In 2014, detailed tests and analysis conducted by government hydrographers, cartographers and recognised satellite scientists operating for a number of projects initiated by the European Space Agency, the WWF and other stakeholders, were completed,... (read more)
2015-10-12 04:09:41
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