Collect Precise Hydrographic Data with Bathymetric Surveys from McClure

A professional land survey can quickly capture large sums of data about terrain and natural features. But what if a portion of the land being surveyed is covered by a body of water? Luckily, innovative equipment has made it easier to collect hydrographic data.

Professional bathymetric surveys—sometimes known as fathometric surveys—can now capture survey data with a degree of accuracy rivaling land surveys. If a body of water is complicating your next project, call the experts at McClure. We’ll ensure bathymetric surveys are completed properly, revealing everything you’d need to know about underwater terrain.

What Is a Bathymetric Survey?

A bathymetric survey collects important information about the terrain of streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and other bodies of water. This includes manmade structures like landscaping ponds or reservoirs. Bathymetric surveys are essentially identical to land surveys, in that they seek to collect comprehensive measurements of the land being surveyed.

But since the land is at the bottom of a body of water, other techniques or equipment must be used. When performed correctly, a bathymetric survey should create an accurate representation of the terrain beneath the water. Priorities are usually the elevation and depth of underwater terrain, and if there are any underwater structures present. Information about the water itself may also be recorded, including:

  • All surrounding shorelines and if tides are present
  • The presence of underwater currents
  • The size, strength and direction of waves

Bathymetric surveys can also be completed in the ocean. In fact, these surveys are sometimes more straightforward than surveys performed in extremely shallow water. This is because water levels are too shallow for most boats, putting any environmental hazards or difficult terrain closer to the surveyor and their equipment.

What Equipment Do Bathymetric Surveys Use?

The opacity of water in lakes and rivers makes traditional survey scanners far less efficient. Even high-definition photogrammetry won’t be able to reach the bottom of most bodies of water. Instead, surveyors use sound in a manner similar to sonar equipment.

Known as echosounders, these scanners generate sound waves and send them to the bottom of a body of water. The time it takes for these sound waves to return is interpreted as depth. As the surveyor covers the entire area, a complete image of the bottom is gradually formed. Boats and drones will also be used depending on how deep the water is.

Other land survey equipment like LiDAR, light detecting and ranging, and 3D High-Definition Scanners may still be involved in the larger survey process as information about the land surrounding the water is collected and analyzed. For example, imagine if developers are constructing a building next to a pond. They’ll need info about the terrain of both the land and the pond’s bottom before they can safely begin construction.

Applications of Bathymetric Surveys

A lake or river can influence whether or not a construction project is feasible, making a bathymetric survey one of the first steps completed for properties featuring bodies of water. But the data collected can be applied in a large number of other ways, for projects like:

  • Flood Inundation: Understanding the effects of floodwater is vital when infrastructure or buildings are placed on land susceptible to flooding.
  • Shoreline stabilization: When improving land next to bodies of water, developers will stabilize the shoreline to prevent erosion or collapse.
  • Dam removal: When removing a dam, hydrographic data can identify what terrain could complicate the process or damage nearby habitat after removal.
  • Water quality studies: Submerged objects can lower the quality of water as they break down. A bathymetric survey will reveal these objects, allowing for their safe removal.

The data collected from professional bathymetric surveys can be used for these and many other projects. McClure’s expert engineers can help you find the best ways to apply the information captured during the survey process.

Where We Make an Impact

McClure can utilize innovative technologies to ensure hydrographic data is as precise and detailed as surveys completed on land.

Collect Precise Hydrographic Data with Bathymetric Surveys from McClure

A professional land survey can quickly capture large sums of data about terrain and natural features. But what if a portion of the land being surveyed is covered by a body of water? Luckily, innovative equipment has made it easier to collect hydrographic data.

Professional bathymetric surveys—sometimes known as fathometric surveys—can now capture survey data with a degree of accuracy rivaling land surveys. If a body of water is complicating your next project, call the experts at McClure. We’ll ensure bathymetric surveys are completed properly, revealing everything you’d need to know about underwater terrain.

What Is a Bathymetric Survey?

A bathymetric survey collects important information about the terrain of streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and other bodies of water. This includes manmade structures like landscaping ponds or reservoirs. Bathymetric surveys are essentially identical to land surveys, in that they seek to collect comprehensive measurements of the land being surveyed.

But since the land is at the bottom of a body of water, other techniques or equipment must be used. When performed correctly, a bathymetric survey should create an accurate representation of the terrain beneath the water. Priorities are usually the elevation and depth of underwater terrain, and if there are any underwater structures present. Information about the water itself may also be recorded, including:

  • All surrounding shorelines and if tides are present
  • The presence of underwater currents
  • The size, strength and direction of waves

Bathymetric surveys can also be completed in the ocean. In fact, these surveys are sometimes more straightforward than surveys performed in extremely shallow water. This is because water levels are too shallow for most boats, putting any environmental hazards or difficult terrain closer to the surveyor and their equipment.

What Equipment Do Bathymetric Surveys Use?

The opacity of water in lakes and rivers makes traditional survey scanners far less efficient. Even high-definition photogrammetry won’t be able to reach the bottom of most bodies of water. Instead, surveyors use sound in a manner similar to sonar equipment.

Known as echosounders, these scanners generate sound waves and send them to the bottom of a body of water. The time it takes for these sound waves to return is interpreted as depth. As the surveyor covers the entire area, a complete image of the bottom is gradually formed. Boats and drones will also be used depending on how deep the water is.

Other land survey equipment like LiDAR, light detecting and ranging, and 3D High-Definition Scanners may still be involved in the larger survey process as information about the land surrounding the water is collected and analyzed. For example, imagine if developers are constructing a building next to a pond. They’ll need info about the terrain of both the land and the pond’s bottom before they can safely begin construction.

Applications of Bathymetric Surveys

A lake or river can influence whether or not a construction project is feasible, making a bathymetric survey one of the first steps completed for properties featuring bodies of water. But the data collected can be applied in a large number of other ways, for projects like:

  • Flood Inundation: Understanding the effects of floodwater is vital when infrastructure or buildings are placed on land susceptible to flooding.
  • Shoreline stabilization: When improving land next to bodies of water, developers will stabilize the shoreline to prevent erosion or collapse.
  • Dam removal: When removing a dam, hydrographic data can identify what terrain could complicate the process or damage nearby habitat after removal.
  • Water quality studies: Submerged objects can lower the quality of water as they break down. A bathymetric survey will reveal these objects, allowing for their safe removal.

The data collected from professional bathymetric surveys can be used for these and many other projects. McClure’s expert engineers can help you find the best ways to apply the information captured during the survey process.

Where We Make an Impact

McClure can utilize innovative technologies to ensure hydrographic data is as precise and detailed as surveys completed on land.

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