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Hydrographic survey services

Here at Fugro, we conduct seabed mapping from the coastline and hazardous shallow water to full ocean depths using a suite of hydrographic surveying technologies, including satellite imagery, airborne lidar bathymetry (ALB), and acoustic sensors. Our advanced technologies can be used independently or combined based on your project requirements and are operated by our global network of qualified hydrographic surveyors. Supporting nautical charting, cable route surveys, and coastal zone management, our surveys accelerate the acquisition of high-quality hydrographic data.

Acoustic Surveys

Our dedicated survey fleet are equipped with cutting-edge hydrographic technology suitable for nautical charting, habitat mapping, and cable route survey applications from the nearshore to the entire ocean depth. The survey fleet also includes uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) that can be used to reduce acquisition time, HSSE exposure, and carbon emissions when mobilised. For example, Fugro’s Blue Shadow® USV is designed for the safe and efficient acquisition of accurate hydrographic data and operates as a force multiplier alongside a parent vessel for maximum coverage.

Airborne Lidar Bathymetry (ALB) Surveys

With extensive experience in providing leading ALB services globally, our experts have developed and operate advanced ALB systems. Fugro’s laser airborne depth sounder (LADS) and rapid airbornemultibeam mapping system (RAMMS) can achieve depth measurements of up to 3 times the water clarity. They can operate simultaneously with topographic or shallow water topo/bathy lidar sensors to deliver high-resolution data. RAMMS and LADS are used to efficiently survey large areas of coastline and shallow waters, providing high-quality data compliant to International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) surveying standards.

Satellite Imagery Analysis

Fugro uses satellite imagery to derive quantitative bathymetric products in the nearshore environment for various applications, including:

  • Reconnaissance, safe navigation, or seabed change detection
  • Seabed mobility assessment
  • Seabed morphology mapping
  • Habitat mapping
  • Shoreline dynamics
  • Water surface obstructions Land use and cover classification
  • Environmental condition analysis

Desktop Studies

We provide planning, desktop studies, site visits, route selection, route surveys, and installation support for subsea telecommunication and power cables. Associated services include environmental impact studies, burial assessment surveys, and archaeological surveys.

Global Law of the Sea Services

Our Law of the Sea consultancy services support coastal projects requiring advice, management, review, or updating of their territorial sea baseline (TSB) and maritime boundaries. We offer detailed analysis to derisk projects covering sensitive waters where no boundaries exist or are conflicting. We also require surveys and research to develop the coastal states’ TSB, maritime boundaries, and extended continental shelf (ECS) claims.


Our applied hydrographic survey programme is an FIG/IHO/ICA Category B (S-5B) hydrographic training course that is accredited. The course provides surveyors with technical knowledge and skills to prepare and deliver hydrographic products and services.

Our hydrographic survey services, including our lidar bathymetry, acoustic surveys, and satellite imagery analysis, are used by both government and private sector clients for various applications along the coastline and offshore for safe navigation and protection of the environment, including:


Hydrographic Surveys

Planning subsea cable routes require all aspects of marine site characterisation, including hydrographic, geophysical and geotechnical data acquisition and assessment between landing points from the shoreline to full ocean depths. The data is used for seabed characterisation, route development and comprehensive burial assessment. Our surveys provide essential information on water depth, seabed morphology and shallow geology/soil strength to ensure safe and sustainable routing and installation of subsea cables along the seafloor.

Coastal Zone Management

Rising sea levels and increased frequency of storm activity are exposing vulnerable coastlines worldwide in need of protection. High-quality topography and bathymetry are required along the coastline for accurate modelling. Our satellite imagery analysis and ALB technologies efficiently map large coastal and adjoining areas to identify change detection and prioritise zones that need protective measures.

Habitat Mapping

Governments require habitat mapping to support spatial planning and management of marine ecosystems in protected areas. High-quality backscatter/reflectance data from our multibeam echosounder, lidar systems, or satellite imagery services are used for seafloor classification and mapping habitats.

Additional Applications

  • Ports and harbour development
  • Coastal engineering
  • Pre-seismic surveys for safe navigation of the seismic vessel and towed equipment
  • Law of the Sea (TSB and continental shelf surveys)

We retain a clear focus on your objectives and draw on our vast experience and extensive resources, including a modern fleet of dedicated survey vessels, to deliver a high quality service on schedule. With the ability to mobilise onto third party vessels and aircraft, we include flexibility with our expertise.

  • Accelerated data acquisition
  • Improved project efficiency
  • Reduced HSSE exposure
  • Flexible mobilisation
  • Sustainable operations
  • Global coverage with local support

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