Hydrographic Survey Services

SEP Hydrographic provides Hydrographic Survey Services to clients throughout the UK and Northern Europe.

SEP Hydrographic offers comprehensive hydrographic survey services to support offshore and nearshore industries. Our team of experienced professionals utilise state-of-the-art equipment and advanced techniques to provide accurate bathymetric data and solutions for a range of marine projects.

We have extensive experience in hydrographic surveying and seabed mapping, providing services to clients from various industries, including renewable energy, oil and gas, ports and harbours, marine construction, and environmental management.

We offer a full range of hydrographic survey services, including:

  • Cable and Pipeline Route Surveys: As part of our comprehensive services, we conduct detailed cable route surveys to ensure safe and efficient cable and pipeline installations. Our surveys evaluate potential hazards on the seabed, helping to select optimal routes and assist in complying with regulatory standards. We also offer ongoing monitoring services to ensure the integrity and safety of existing systems.
  • Coastal and Intertidal Zone Surveys: Recognising the complexity of these environments, we utilise state-of-the-art techniques to accurately map and assess nearshore and intertidal areas, providing a consistent dataset.
  • Port and Harbour Surveys: We offer detailed port and harbour surveys to help ensure the safe navigation of vessels and efficient management of marine infrastructure. Our services include seabed mapping, pre and post-dredging surveys, and monitoring for maintenance purposes.
  • Data Processing and Reporting: Our team uses the latest technology and software to process and analyse survey data efficiently. We provide accurate and comprehensive reports for all our surveys, including detailed maps, charts, and visualisations to support decision-making processes.

What is Hydrographic Surveying?

Hydrographic surveying is integral to understanding and managing our marine environments. Modern surveying uses sound waves to collect accurate measurements to precisely map the underwater terrain and physical features of the seabed. This underwater topography informs various critical activities, including navigation safety and the creation of nautical charts, harbour and port management, dredging, and marine construction and coastal engineering projects.

The collected hydrographic data is used to create detailed charts and maps of the seabed, showing contours, depth changes, and potential hazards. This information is crucial for safe maritime navigation of vessels and the planning and execution of marine projects.

Offshore Wind Farm Survey

Offshore Wind Farms

Our hydrographic surveys provide detailed information on seabed conditions, allowing for the planning and installation of offshore wind farms. This includes identifying potential hazards and obstructions, as well as determining suitable locations for turbines and foundations.

Bathymetric surveys also play a critical role in the ongoing maintenance and monitoring of wind farm infrastructure. Through regular surveys, any changes or damage to the seabed can be detected and addressed in a timely manner.

Cable & Pipeline Route Surveying

Cable & Pipeline Route Surveying

Cable and pipeline route surveys are used to determine the most suitable route to install cables and pipelines between two points. The data gathered from the survey is used to design a route that avoids/ hazards, reduces risk and minimises costs. Our multibeam echo sounders can accurately map the seabed and identify any potential obstacles or hazards that could interfere with cable and pipeline installation. Hydrographic survey services play a crucial role in the ongoing monitoring of the routes to detect any changes or damage that may require attention.

Bridge Survey

Marine Construction

Hydrographic surveys are vital for marine construction projects such as bridges and tunnels. They provide accurate information on water depths, seabed conditions and potential obstacles, allowing engineers to design structures that can withstand the marine environment. Our surveys also assist in monitoring construction progress and ensuring compliance with project specifications.

Dredging Survey

Dredging Operations

Hydrographic surveys are essential for dredging operations, providing accurate and up-to-date information on water depths and seabed conditions. This allows for precise planning and execution of dredging activities, reducing dredging volumes and costs. Our surveys can also monitor the progress and effectiveness of dredging operations, ensuring that desired depths and seabed conditions are achieved. This data is crucial for maintaining navigational safety in ports and harbours.

Port and Harbour Survey

Port and Harbour Developments

Hydrographic surveys provide essential data for managing ports, harbours and marinas. The surveys are used to assess sedimentation levels, navigability, dredging requirements and infrastructure development needs. This information is crucial for maintaining safe and efficient navigation, as well as planning and managing port expansions or new developments.

Maritime Archaeology

Maritime Archaeology

Hydrographic surveys are used to locate shipwrecks, submerged remains, and ancient structures. The data gathered by our surveyors can then be used to create 3D models of the features. This information is vital for understanding and preserving maritime heritage, as well as managing potential risks to navigation and offshore construction activities.

Survey Technology

We invest in the latest technology from leading industry suppliers such as NORBIT Subsea and Teledyne Marine to ensure the highest quality data for our clients.

One of our key assets is the NORBIT i77h WINGHEAD Multibeam Echosounder. This leading-edge technology sets the standard with its ultra-high resolution capabilities, featuring an along-track resolution of up to 0.5 degrees with a frequency of up to 700 kHz. Such precision allows unparalleled detail, with the added benefit of rapid mobilisations to vessels of opportunity, significantly increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of nearshore survey projects.

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Hydrographic Survey Innovation

We are committed to innovation and continuously strive to improve our survey methods and equipment. Our team of experts is constantly exploring new technologies and techniques, such as unmanned surface vessels (USVs), to enhance the data collection process. This not only improves efficiency but also reduces risk for personnel involved in hazardous environments.

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Get in Touch

If you require a hydrographic survey for your project or have any further questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our team. We have extensive experience conducting surveys of various sizes and complexities and can provide tailored solutions to meet your needs.

With our commitment to quality service and dedication to delivering accurate results, you can trust us to handle your project with professionalism and efficiency. Contact us today to learn how SEP Hydrographic can support your project.

Contact Our Team

Hydrographic Survey FAQs

How Does a Multibeam Echosounder Work?

A multibeam echosounder is a sophisticated sonar system designed to produce comprehensive maps of the seabed. Emitting a fan-shaped array of sound waves from a transducer affixed to a survey vessel's underside, it projects these pulses downward. Upon reaching the seafloor, the sound waves are reflected back and captured by the transducer.

The device then calculates the time taken for these waves to return, and employing the known speed of sound in water, it can precisely determine the seabed's distance. This facilitates accurate measurement of water depth and results in finely detailed maps of underwater topography. The term "multibeam" pertains to the echosounder's capacity to release multiple beams simultaneously, allowing it to survey a broad section of the seabed in a single pass.

What are Inertial Navigation Systems?

Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) are advanced technological tools that utilise motion and rotation sensors, such as accelerometers and gyroscopes, to compute an object's positional data, orientation, and velocity without external reference points.

These systems operate independently, unlike GPS, which requires satellite signals and are invaluable in scenarios where GPS reliability is questionable or non-existent, for example, underwater. This data is then used for precise positioning and orientation of surveying equipment.

INS technology has revolutionized surveying by enabling accurate mapping and measurement of underwater features, even in challenging environments.

What Kind of Information Can Be Gathered from a Hydrographic Survey?

Hydrographic surveys provide detailed visualisations of the seabed bathymetry, objects and human-made structures. The data gathered can also be used to assess sedimentation levels, navigability, dredging requirements and infrastructure development.

What Are the Risks Associated with a Hydrographic Survey?

Conducting hydrographic surveys involves risks such as adverse weather, rough sea conditions, and uncharted underwater obstacles.

As with any operations in the marine environment, the survey crew may face physical hazards while working near or on the water. These include slips, trips and falls on slippery decks or unsteady platforms. All site-going personnel must be suitably trained and equipped with appropriate safety gear to manage these risks.

How Long Does a Hydrographic Survey Take?

The duration of a hydrographic survey depends on the size and complexity of the area being surveyed. Small areas can generally be completed in one to two days, while more extensive surveys may take weeks or even months.

It is important to plan ahead and allow sufficient time for both data collection and post-processing. Weather and sea conditions can also impact the length of a survey, as they may limit safe working hours or cause delays.

How Much Does a Hydrographic Survey Cost?

The cost of a hydrographic survey varies depending on the size and complexity of the area being surveyed, as well as the equipment used. Generally speaking, smaller surveys tend to be more affordable than larger projects due to the reduced amount of data collected.

What Is the Maximum Water Depth That Can Be Surveyed?

The maximum water depth that can be surveyed depends on the capabilities of the equipment being used, and whether the data is acquired from the surface or from a subsea platform. As the water depth increases, the data resolution may decrease, and lowering the sensor closer to the seabed will improve the resolution.