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climate and environment

 

Hydrography

Going into the depth – surveying under water

How many secrets are hidden in the dark blue of the sea, whether mountains under water, riffs, shifting sand dunes, wrecks of an airplane or a ship and other barriers under water. Hydrography deals with surveying and plotting the earth under water.

Water is one of the most important base for living. More than 70 % of the world's surface is covered by oceans. Nevertheless data of seabeds and riverbeds is more incomplete than the surface of moon or Mars. These informations are very important for shipping navigation as most of the world wide transportation of goods is managed via oceans and rivers. Shipping accidents can cause huge irreversible damage to nature and environment, life and soul. Data acquisition and surveying of ground under the water surface is the essential basis for a safe navigation of ships. Previously sea maps were handled like a state secret. Today they can be bought by everybody or can be viewed at google earth with low resolution. Surveying is performed with highly specialiced and expensive equipment, mostly precise echo sounder together with satellite positioning systems and inertial systems. This is done on ships with a few meter length on rivers and seas and on ships up to 100 meters of length on oceans and in the arctic sea. The derived seamaps are made for use electronically or in printing mode. Let`s have a look at wind parks at North or Baltic Sea. Plannings are based on hydrographical measurements. Which surface is the best? Equipment is used that go into the ground with acoustic signals to determine the composition and structure of the sea ground. Wrecks underground, submarine cable, archeological relict? Even disturbances oft he geomagnetic field can be monitored which give information about metallic deposits. Based on the results of surveying there are projects in shipping, coastal protection, pipelines, wind power systems and bridge construction, even generating resources out of the sea. It is an exciting field of work with an increasing demand for young potentials. There are many opportunities for globetrotter to organize and supervise international project and go outside across all oceans. Local experts for hydrography investigate the mystery of rivers and seas in Germany or manage the surveying and create the maps.

(c) Ekkehart Grillmayer
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