The Rocknes Casualty 2004

A Chartmaker’s Retrospect
The MV Rocknes (about 17,000 GRT (Gross Register Tons), draught approximately 10.5m, see Figure 1), en route from Eikefet, Norway to Emden, Germany, hit a shoal in Vatlestraumen, Norway on 19 January 2004. The vessel carried a pilot from the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA). Soon after the grounding the ship capsized with the loss of 18 crew. 12 crew were rescued. Norwegian Hydrographic Service (NHS) was blamed for not publishing its knowledge of a presumed new shoal in the Vatlestraumen. Three subsequent lawsuits were necessary to establish a credible explanation of the accident’s root causes. 10 years after the serious... (read more)
2014-07-17 01:17:21

Oceanology International to have Three Points of Focus

When Oi08 opens at the ExCeL centre in London’s Docklands on 11 March, the exhibition and its accompanying conference will focus on the three important issues that have begun to dominate thinking in ocean science and technology: climate change, meeting future energy demands, and ensuring environmental and civil security. These have become interconnected issues, with expertise now moving freely between each of these apparently specialised sectors.<P> With a 3-day conference accompan­ying this major exhibition, it is almost inevitable that public concerns about climate change will attract considerable interest. The role of the oceans in global warming is likely to take... (read more)
2008-03-12 12:00:00

Bathymetry From Space

Global grids of synthetic bathymetry make it a simple matter to portray generalised ocean depths in all parts of the world, except the central Arctic Ocean. Derived from measurements of satellite height above the sea surface, synthetic bathymetry lacks the resolution and accuracy of acoustic soundings, plus it contains flaws that arise from measurement and computational processes. Users must therefore exercise care in the analysis and presentation of such information. In Part II of his satirical account Gulliver’s Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, Jonathan Swift described his protagonist’s thoughts after a close-up observation of the flawed complexions... (read more)
2008-01-19 12:00:00

A Life-changing Voyage

On New Year’s Day 1916, S. Davis Winship, a young Coast and Geodetic Survey (C&GS) officer, began a life-changing voyage, one that would take him far from his New England roots to a life in an exotic tropical land. Much of what follows is in Winship’s own words. Prior to embarking for the Philippine Islands, he had been in the C&GS for two years and had worked off the rocky shores of New England, the comparatively calm waters of Chesapeake Bay and the sounds of North Carolina, and in the deep, but pinnacle-studded, waters of Alaska’s Inside Passage. He arrived... (read more)
2017-05-16 03:11:52

Supply Hydrographic Personnel

Hydro INTERNATIONAL Interviews Johan Stam, Business Development Manager, Atlas Services Group
There is a global shortage of hydrographic surveyors. The industry is faced with an interesting challenge and looks to specialised education facilities and personnel suppliers to assist in solving this problem. Even in times of high unemployment it can be difficult to find sufficient skilled personnel to carry out hydrographic survey work in the offshore environment. Hydrographic educational institutions around the world are struggling to attract enough students, resulting in noticeable shortages of trainees within the survey departments of large and small survey contracting companies. Although working conditions have improved considerably over recent decades, the environment in which hydrographic surveyors... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00

Human Resources in Hydrography

Nowadays challenges are enforced by advanced technology
Certainly, all of us belonging to the hydrographic community have heard, read or even written, dozens and maybe hundreds of times about the importance of human resources when referring to the performance of reliable hydrographic surveys. That is a fact that upon which we have remarked and seen with some nostalgia, mainly because of the human tendency to consider that ‘Everything was better in the past…’ Nevertheless, whether we like it or not, things have somehow changed. The advancements of technology are marking tracks in the way our professionals are facing the challenge of extracting from nature the precise data... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00

Sharing the Wealth

Towards an Ocean Sensing Network
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and associated undersea technologies have demonstrated exceptional current utility and great growth potential for military, governmental and commercial maritime agencies as well as for ocean research institutions. While sustained and aggressive research, development, testing and evaluation is still in order, the technology is available now to benefit potential consumers with the incredible range of data these systems can already provide. Although unmanned systems in other domains (air, ground, and space) have experienced rapid growth resulting from wartime necessities, there remains a prevalent ‘wait and see’ mindset about unmanned undersea systems among those who work in and... (read more)
2012-07-26 02:59:17

Unravelling the Ridge and Rift

Missed Opportunities and Triumph
Following Maurice Ewing’s first cruise to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, two more were made by the end of the 1940s. The first of these was led by Ewing while the second was led by Bruce Heezen. Although Gunter Dietrich’s paper was referred to in the 1949 paper by Ivan Tolstoy and Ewing (see part I in last issue), neither seems to have comprehended its significance as he reported in the November 1949 National Geographic magazine: “Crossing the ridge, we drew a detailed profile of its peaks with our fathometer. Flanking the central highlands, we found deep trenches separating the main Ridge... (read more)
2014-10-15 02:53:21

Sediment Waves

Geohazard or Geofeature?
The term ‘sediment waves’ was fully established in a special issue of Marine Geology and refers to large-scale depositional bedforms in various parts of the world’s oceans. These undulating objects usually have tens of metres to a few kilometres in wavelength and a height of several metres. The genesis is believed to be a near-bottom current, a turbidite current or both. The main issue about the sedimentary wavy features was, and is, to distinguish them from soft sediment deformations (creep). The methods used for such determinations are accurate processing of seismic sections to reveal whether the faults are real, measuring... (read more)
2013-12-04 11:25:17

Waterside Mapping

Laser scanning and bathymetric side-scan sonar represent the cutting edge of environmental survey technology. Over the last few years, we have tested the integration of these two methodologies, carrying out a number of high-resolution surveys on the Po River, the Venice canals and various Italian harbours. Bathymetric surveys were conducted using a SEA SWATHplus-H wide-swath sonar. An Optech ILRIS-3D terrestrial laser scanner was used to scan the areas above water level. Information from these scans was used to create 3D black and white images (intensity images) of the surveyed area. In the case of the laser scanner, these images are... (read more)
2008-03-12 12:00:00
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