On 25th September, 2013 Fugro EMU collected the last of over 15 billion bathymetric soundings as part of the 2011 to 2013 Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) Civil Hydrography Programme.
Working in UK coastal waters between the 2-metre and 40-metre contours, Fugro EMU surveyed over 3,000km2 of seabed off the English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish coastlines utilising a fleet of eight dedicated survey vessels.
Fugro EMU says it used the latest Reson and Kongsberg dual head multibeam echosounders and associated positioning and orientation systems, deployed to ensure that International Hydrographic Organisation Order 1a standards were met. Working in partnership with Fugro’s own training academy, Fugro EMU also supplied FIG/IHO Cat A accredited hydrographic surveyors for the project.
Fugro says that many of the areas it covered were last surveyed by lead line in the 19th Century and several of them, particularly in Scottish coastal waters, have never been surveyed before. This has resulted in the first collection of high-resolution seabed data, including the discovery of several previously uncharted wrecks and the re-classification of water depths over some existing wrecks.
Although data presented on Admiralty charts are scaled down to a level which provides sufficient information for the safe navigation of vessels at sea, full density data sets are publicly available via both the MCA and the UKHO.