What Is Hydrography? And What Does It Include?

Hydrographic surveyors or hydrographers, mainly focus on latest technology and unique methods to make detailed and complete plans of seabeds and waterways. Their role includes mapping underwater surfaces and studies the morphology of the sea floor, showing contours, shape, and depth.

Hydrographic surveys related to mapping specialize in precise positioning, processing offshore of inshore marine environments, and data acquisition. Surveyors generally spend time on survey ships and drilling platforms. The information they collect used in:

  • Dredging
  • The production of information and charts for navigation dredging
  • Locating different offshore resources
  • Positioning oil platforms, offshore wind farms, and subsea cables
  • Planning dock installations
  • Monitoring erosion
  • Locating sewer fall by calculating direct currents
  • Locating the mean level of the sea
  • Silting, irregularities, and scouring of the bed that can be recognized
  • Tide measurement
  • Stream and river discharge measurement
  • Massive structures such as dams harbors, bridges are planned


What Are The Initial Steps In Hydrographic Surveying?

The method of surveying starts by locating the main control points next to the shoreline. The sounding method is used to determine the deepness at various points with the help of stationary boats. Surrounding locations can be developed from the boat to the control points or by stabilizing a point in the boat and getting sounding from the control point. Before starting this procedure preliminary steps have to be taken:


As every project needs a start-up plant to finish is economically and effectively, reconnaissance has to be done. A complete reconnaissance of the entire survey area has to choose the best way of carrying out the survey. This would facilitate suitable completion of the survey with the specifications and requirements governing such work. Aerial images would also help this study.

Locating Horizontal Control

Horizontal control is essential to locate features of marine and land in true relative positions. Hence a sequence of lines whose azimuths and lengths are determined employing triangulation or any other working methods. Plane table survey and tachometric can be also conducted to undergo rough works. No rules are kept for making horizontal control as vegetation, topography, size, and type of topography that affects the rules.

Sounding in Hydrographic Survey 

The process of calculating depth below the surface of the water is called sounding. The step before experiencing sounding is determining the mean sea level. And if the lowered level of any point of the water body is verified by subtracting the sounding from the mean sea, therefore it is analogous to leveling.


The whole process of hydrographic surveys includes various things that are done by the professionals of this field. Hydrography is the science to calculate, measure, and describes the physical features of land and water areas adjoining those bodies of water. The whole process of hydrographic includes various pieces of equipment for better efficiency and results. A good hydrographic survey company can deliver custom solutions that are based on marine projects working with the project managers, port authorities, dredge operators, and engineers.

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