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    Fundamentals of acoustics, multibeam sonar systems, motion compensation, side scan sonar methods, LiDAR bathymetry, acoustic positioning, reporting, charting and error analysis, and electronic navigation charts (ENCs).

    This paper follows on from the introductory theory of hydrography covered in SURV 322 Hydrographic Surveying. It covers the underlying theoretical framework for acoustics, modern sidescan sonar and multibeam sonars (both beam-forming and sidescan/interferometric systems) in more depth. Methods of vessel motion sensing (heading, pitch and roll) are also covered. This, along with the associated uncertainty theory, leads to modern methods of data processing, analysis and presentation, including the combined uncertainty and bathymetry estimating (CUBE) algorithm and the development of the navigation surface. Calibration of equipment, data connections and reporting is also covered.

    This paper is offered in odd-numbered years (2023, 2025, etc.)

    About this paper

    Paper title Hydrographic Surveying 2
    Subject Surveying
    EFTS 0.1334
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,206.20
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    (SURV 301 or SURV 311) and (SURV 302 or SURV 312) and SURV 322
    SURV 422, SURV 552
    Schedule C
    Teaching staff

    Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Emily Tidey
    Practical and Lab Support: Emily Tidey and Craig Tidey

    Paper Structure
    This paper covers the following:
    • Data management and interfacing
    • Acoustics and signals
    • Hydrographic equipment and operations: sidescan sonars, multibeam echo sounders, LiDAR, remote sensing, mobilisation and calibrations, geophysics and offshore industrial operations
    • Electronic charting and maritime issues
    • Hydrographic certification and organisations
    Teaching Arrangements

    Lectures: Three 1-hour lecturers per week

    Labs: Eight during semester

    Practicals: Four during semester

    Blackboard Use: Information and links will be provided on Blackboard as required.

    Terms: Hydrographic surveying skills are acquired through practice, which complements the theory gained in lectures and readings. Therefore, students must have attended all of the practical sessions and have submitted all of the assignments.

    Internal Assessment: 50%, made of theoretical assignments, practicals and practical reports and a mid-semester test

    Exam: 50%, 3 hours



    • IHO S-44 - Standards for Hydrographic Surveys
    • LINZ HYSPEC - Contract Specifications for Hydrographic Surveys
    • MNZ - Good Practice Guidelines for Hydrographic Surveys in New Zealand Ports and Harbours

    Highly Recommended:

    • IHO Manual of Hydrography

    All available to download online.

    Other texts are available in the Science and School of Surveying Libraries and online.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    • Deepen the understanding of acoustics and sonar theory
    • Understand the theory and use of multibeam echosounders and sidescan sonars
    • Develop understanding of the concepts of uncertainty modelling and management and its use in modern bathymetric modelling
    • Understand the concept of seafloor characterisation from sonar backscatter information
    • Understand the basic concepts of non-acoustical bathymetric measurement
    • Work with and understand data connectivity, processing and reporting in hydrographic environments
    • Further develop theoretical knowledge and practical hydrographic surveying skills in a range of situations
    • Process and analyse multibeam and sidescan data using suitable software and create appropriate products
    • Briefly cover marine law applicable to hydrography


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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