Hazard Detection

The Importance of Under Water Hazard Detection

Side Scan Sonar (SSS) and Multibeam Echo Sounders (MBES) are great tools for scanning large areas of water for hazards or features. 

SSS has the capability of scanning sideways through the water column to identify features that are protruding from the bottom. 

MBES provides the ultimate solution for feature detection as it scans and measures the entire bottom surface so that any hazards or features can be presented in 3D point cloud data or by surface model.  MBES also enables accurate dimensions and heights of the hazard to be observed.

The search area is scanned twice to increase the confidence of detecting hazards or features.  This enables redundancy in the detection, ensuring it is not just noise in the data or dynamic marine life.

Total Hydrographic’s MBES capability exceeds the International Hydrographic Organization’s (IHO) “Special Order” survey specification.  This is the highest level of survey possible.  To achieve the standard, the system needs to be capable of detecting cubic features greater than 1m in size. 


Common Uses for Hazard Detection Surveys

  • Commercial shipping where under keel clearance is critical – detection of hazards within the shipping channels. 
  • Hazard detection is necessary in water skiing zones as dangerous hazards can be introduced after a flood event. MBES or SSS enables large areas to be scanned in a timely and cost effective manner. 
  • Public swimming holes – prior to the peak swimming season a scan can be completed to ensure there are no submerged hazards below the water and there is still a safe depth of water available within the swimming hole. 
Water Surveyor
Not knowing what’s happening beneath the surface of your water body can be a costly and risky error, fortunately it’s also avoidable. We are hydrographic surveyors with the experience and knowledge to conduct hazard detection surveys. 
Water Surveyor

Total Hydrographic’s hazard detection surveys are conducted exclusively by professionally recognised Level 1 and Level 2 Certified Hydrographic Surveyors, assessed by the Australasian Hydrographic Surveyors Certification Panel (AHSCP) through the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute. 

Our staff have tertiary qualifications and experience in Hydrographic Surveying, Geomatic Engineering, Marine Mapping and GIS, Cartography and National Maritime Operations.

A list of certified professionals in hydrographic surveying can be found here.

Never underestimate the dangers that lurk below the surface – ask Total Hydrographic to complete an under keel clearance or hazard detection survey to identify the unseen danger.

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