Hydrography is the branch of applied sciences which measures and describes the physical features of the oceans and adjacent coastal areas, particularly for the purpose of navigation. Hydrographic surveyors measure the depth and configuration of water bodies, and the nature of the sediments on the seafloor. Survey data can be used to update nautical charts, locate aids to navigation, develop 3D models of the seafloor, and help in the exploration of resources.
As a career, hydrography offers an incredible variety of options, from ensuring our ports and harbours are safe for merchant ships, oil and gas exploration, scientific surveying to study the undersea landscape, military surveying, and increasingly, surveying for environmental management of sensitive areas.
The technology used for modern hydrography are the most advanced remote sensing systems used on Earth, from shallow- and deep-water singlebeam and multibeam sonars, to airborne lidar and satellite imagery, while using platforms as diverse as ships, planes, helicopters, UAVS, ROVs and AUVs equipped with cameras, sensors and arms.
If this sounds like the sort of career for the modern explorer, then have a look at the movie below, produced by the Royal Institution of Australia for the SSSI Hydrography Commission.
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