- On 5th August 2021
- In General, Research and Development
- By William
Bathymetry is the study of bed features and water depth using sound waves. There are two main types of bathymetric survey, single beam and multi beam. Single beam involves the measurement of the bed directly below the transducer, and typically only has a swath angle range of between 10-30°.
Multi-beam on the other hand uses a multi-swath echo sounder sending out acoustic ‘pings’ along a larger area than single beam systems, allowing us to see features on the waterbed much clearer, more accurately and with higher resolution.
As a result of the multi beam system measuring entire areas, the interpolation of data between points is no longer required and this makes the processing time more efficient, when compared to single beam.
The swath angle can also be changed to survey features otherwise inaccessible by a single beam. This includes features with perpendicular angles to the waterbed such as quay walls, or areas under floating obstacles such as boats and pontoons.
A multi beam bathymetric survey allows us to cover larger areas and in a shorter space of time in comparison to single beam and with less inherent errors. This can be beneficial in large water bodies and where we are restricted to narrow temporal windows by the environmental conditions.
Bathymetric surveys are an essential tool to ensure safe navigation, effective dredging, and maintenance of navigable waterbodies, by informing water mangers and harbour authorities of the depth of water and sediment volume present.
Other applications include;
- Surveying harbours and ports
- Surveying continental shelf areas
- Offshore projects such as the inspection of pipelines
- Surveying coastal protection measures
- Large scale mapping of ocean
- Exploration of wrecks and mapping of dive sites
Thus, multi beam is a flexible and cross sectoral tool for determining accurate environmental bed conditions.
At Exo we are capable of supplying both single beam and multi beam surveying services. So, if you need a waterbody, harbour or marina surveying then remember we are available to conduct in situ surveys.
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