Two thirds of the Earth’s surface is made up of water, a huge volume of which remains unknown to us. While for many this mystery just adds to the romance of the sea, in the maritime industry, knowledge of depths and the terrain of the seabed through shipping channels and around ports and terminals is essential. Without that knowledge ships would not be able to ply their trades safely. Hydrographic surveyors are responsible for removing the unknowns of the seas for the maritime industry. Using seismic methods, these surveyors will collect data to enable accurate nautical charts to be published, assist in the extraction of oil and gas and other mineral extraction activities, and aide the fishing industry.
Of course, the information that they gather is constantly changing as sediments are swept from one place to another by currents and tides. So hydrographic surveying, even of ‘known’ areas, must be constantly monitored and updated to be of use in the shipping industry.