Critical Areas for Research in Oceanographic and Hydrographic Surveying and Charting

by Harold D. Palmer, (Aff.M.ASCE), Sr. Scientist; Westinghouse Ocean Research Lab., Annapolis, Md.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Surveying and Mapping Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 1, Pg. 43-50

Document Type: Journal Paper


Surveying and charting activities in oceanography and hydrography are dictated by the objectives of these two disciplines. Hydrographic surveys are often performed to provide aids to navigation (charts) which permit the direction of a vessel through and over shoals or other potential hazards to safe passage. As another essential service, hydrographers provide the basemaps for offshore engineering and construction. Here depth is also critical, for an error of fractions of meters in depth determination may cost millions. Physical oceanographers pursue knowledge that will lead to greater understanding of currents, tides, and waves and thus provide information essential to the hydrographer. They too are concerned with depth, inasmuch as wave refraction, current deflection, and other motions involving energy transfer depend largely upon water depth and sea floor configuration. This paper will examine additional factors that currently frustrate hydrographers and oceanographers, and it will review existing research needs for surveying and charting activities.

Subject Headings: Ocean currents | Oceanography | Hydrographs | Hydrographic surveys | Offshore construction | Navigation (waterway) | Permits | Ships

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