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Southwest Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme

Swath Bathymetry

In Lyme Bay and Mounts Bay we have been able to commission swath surveys (otherwise known as multi-beam surveys) through a collaboration with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency's Civil Hydrography Programme. The collaboration is the first of its kind and provides a leading example of the way that organisations can work together to avoid duplication of effort and collect high quality data in the most cost effective manner.

The MCA systematically surveys the waters around the UK, collecting data for use in nautical charts and publications. By collaborating with us they have been able to survey Lyme Bay and Mounts Bay at a reduced cost, and we have been able to obtain high resolution data which would otherwise have been outside our budgetary capabilities.

It is hoped that the affiliation will provide a template for the future efficient use of resources.

Example swath bathymetric survey of the nearshore sub-tidal zone

The advantage of using a swath system is its ability to collect much larger amounts of data creating a higher resolution trace than can be achieved using single beam equipment.

The data are supplied directly to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the UK Hydrographic Office and PCO receive 1km2 gridded data tiles

Image Courtesy of Netsurvey Combined LiDAR and Swath Bathymetry Image of St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall.