German U-boat Surveyed a Century after Wartime Sinking

A First World War German submarine has been surveyed for the first time since its loss in 1917. Sophisticated scanning techniques and deep-sea video footage have revealed a large hole in the boat's hull – caused by an attacking British naval vessel. During the summer of 2020, scientists led by deep sea archaeological expert Dr Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz of the University of Southampton, in collaboration with offshore survey companies MMT and Reach Subsea, investigated the wreck of UC-47 on behalf of Tolmount Development during offshore operations to prepare for the laying of a new pipeline in the North Sea, some 20... (read more)
2020-08-07 01:29:02

Mapping the Subsea Forests of the Mediterranean

Reviewing Remote Sensing Image Classification Techniques for Accurate Seagrass Mapping
What is the best image classification technique to optimize maps so that effective action can be taken to conserve seagrass meadows? The distribution of Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows has been mapped by a combination of remote sensing techniques, geographical information systems (GIS) and sonar data. A fundamental, but challenging, part of this methodology is the remote sensing image classification. This article presents a review of different image classification techniques to optimise the final maps, so that effective action can be taken to conserve seagrass meadows. The degradation of P. oceanica seagrass meadows is a major concern as these marine ecosystems... (read more)
2020-08-04 09:03:05

Fugro Begins Extensive Site Characterization for ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia Hub

Fugro has begun the geophysical survey phase of a large multidisciplinary site investigation contract worth around GBP55 million for ScottishPower Renewables’ (SPR’s) East Anglia Hub project. The phased site investigations are scheduled to finish at the end of 2021 and support the development of wind farms in the UK southern North Sea over an area of more than 800 square kilometres. The results from Fugro’s site characterization will feed into SPR’s ground models for the East Anglia Hub and support seabed mobility assessment, foundation design and cable-route engineering. Operating from dedicated geophysical survey vessels, the Fugro team began the UXO... (read more)
2020-08-04 09:38:18

Submerged Munitions, No Hazard Left Undetected

Minimum Requirements for Munitions Detection at Sea
Munitions in the sea pose a risk to the sustainable development of the ocean economy. In particular, they remain a global challenge during the construction of wind parks, pipelines and other infrastructure. To ensure high-quality performance during the execution of the necessary maritime munitions detection and clearance operations, industry experts and scientists from Germany have defined a set of requirements. These are particularly important in the detection phase which requires the attention of hydrographical surveyors. Safe access to large areas of the seafloor is a prerequisite for offshore economic development. However, this ability has been compromised by the presence of... (read more)
2020-07-20 02:06:12

Sonardyne Underwater Positioning to Support Fugro’s Offshore Wind Operations in North America

Leading geo-data specialist Fugro has chosen underwater positioning technology from Sonardyne for its upcoming offshore wind farm projects in North America. The company has ordered three Sonardyne Mini-Ranger 2 Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) underwater positioning systems to support shallow water site characterisation surveys, and a standard Ranger 2 for positioning geotechnical boreholes that will influence turbine foundation design and installation. In addition, Fugro has also ordered Wideband Sub-Mini 6+ (WSM 6+) and Nano transponders to fit to the underwater equipment it will be tracking with its new USBLs, including side-scan sonars and transverse gradiometer systems.  Very shallow and high-elevation tracking Mini-Ranger... (read more)
2020-07-17 11:01:54

Ifremer Selects iXblue’s Technology to Equip Its New 6000-metre AUV

Ifremer, the French National Institute for Ocean Science, has chosen iXblue, a global high-tech company specializing in the design and manufacturing of innovative systems and solutions devoted to inertial navigation, subsea positioning and underwater imaging, to equip its new 6000-meter AUV (CORAL* project). The AUV will be equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS), Sams-150, a Phins C7 Inertial Navigation System (INS), a sub-bottom profiler Echoes 5000 and will use iXblue’s Delph Software suite for SAS and navigation post-processing. “We are very excited to be on board the CORAL project and to offer turnkey SAS technology to Ifremer scientific and... (read more)
2020-07-17 10:13:13

First Fully-autonomous Shallow Water Survey

Geodata specialist Fugro has completed the Middle East’s first fully autonomous geophysical shallow-water route survey. Controlled from their remote operations centre in Abu Dhabi, an unmanned surface vessel (USV) captured a full range of geophysical data across a survey area of some 40km out from the coast of Abu Dhabi to support a client’s critical project, entirely remotely. The results of the fully autonomous geophysical shallow-water route survey comprised conductivity, temperature, depth and salinity (CTDS) profiles, bathymetry data, seabed imaging, sub-bottom profiles, and ferrous object detection such as pipes, etc. The efficiency gains and material reductions from using Fugro’s remote... (read more)
2020-06-24 12:34:11

Using Unmanned Surface Vehicles for Bathymetric Dam Imaging

A North American Case Study with Wide-ranging Applications
Inspection of dams is a high-risk task for divers because of strong currents and eddies. The use of emerging technologies such as unmanned surface vehicles equipped with echosounders and sonars can lower those risks. Such systems can perform subsurface dam inspections quickly and effectively without putting humans at risk, as this US case study shows. Overused roads, outdated railway systems, brittle power grids, crumbling bridges and suchlike all take a toll on the economy and, tragically, sometimes even lead to loss of life. Failing infrastructure is an issue for most countries, and likely more so in developed nations that still... (read more)
2020-06-16 09:28:06

“Tharp Helped Keep Me Going”

How a Treasure Map Led Her to the Bottom of the Sea
"It wasn’t always easy being a black woman in my early days as an oceanographer,” says Dawn Wright, chief scientist at a worldwide operating company specialized in mapping and spatial analytics software. But a fictional pirate and a pioneering ocean explorer helped her chart her course. I grew up in the Hawaiian Islands, so the ocean has always been a sacred place to me. My summers included many hours spent in the waves, and ample time for reading. The book that captured my imagination above all others was Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. One of the central anchors of the... (read more)
2020-05-26 08:47:55

Scientific Challenges in a Crucial Region for Planet Earth

Remote, Frozen, Critical and Changing: the Weddell Sea
Located in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, the Weddell Sea generates extremely dense bottom water that spreads into all the world’s ocean basins, transporting oxygen, CO2 and other solutes. Everything that is added here is transferred into the abyssal oceans, including anthropogenic CO2. However, changes are taking place in the Weddell region that will have an impact on other oceans and on the global climate. The Weddell Sea (Figure 1) is a huge embayment between the Antarctic Peninsula and the Antarctic continent, situated at the southern edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The boundary of the Weddell Sea to... (read more)
2020-05-26 08:28:56
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