Hydrographic and Geophysical Survey

With a fleet of purpose-built vessels based at major port locations throughout the UK, our experienced survey personnel, together with 12 hydrographic surveyors within the ABP Group, undertake hydrographic and geophysical surveys for a variety of commercial projects.

We have a wealth of experience in undertaking nearshore and offshore bathymetric and geophysical campaigns for baseline, monitoring and inspection purposes.

We undertake hydrographic surveys using high resolution multibeam and singlebeam bathymetry sensors interfaced with inertial navigation systems. Hydrographic instruments are primarily used to acquire bathymetry data to map and ascertain the depth of the seabed. In addition, our multibeam systems are increasingly being used to provide acoustic backscatter information; a powerful tool for characterising seabed surface composition.

When we need to know and understand seabed and sub-seabed composition and conditions, we utilise a full spread of geophysical survey equipment in a single survey, including multibeam echosounders, side-scan sonars, sub-bottom profilers and magnetometers.

Where traditional vessel-methods are not practical due to shallow water depths or restricted manoeuvrability, ABPmer offers bespoke survey solutions using USV (unmanned surface vehicle) drones.

As well as conducting hydrographic and geophysical surveys, ABPmer offers a full processing, reporting and charting service tailored to client requirements.

Multibeam Bathymetry provides high resolution full coverage seafloor mapping data. By surveying a wide swath of seafloor beneath the vessel, large areas can be covered efficiently. Singlebeam bathymetry provides seafloor mapping data for a single profile beneath the vessel.

Multibeam Backscatter intensity data is acquired in order to assist in characterising the seabed surface composition.

Side-scan sonar provides seafloor composition imagery and detects debris items and obstructions that may cause a hindrance to construction activities. Where objects protrude from the surface and cast shadows in the imagery, dimensions can be defined.

Sub-bottom profilers provide information to identify and characterise layers of sediment or rock beneath the seabed. This is especially important for construction, cable and pipeline burial, and piling activities.

Magnetometers detect variations in the total magnetic field of the underlying seabed. An increased magnetic field can indicate the presence of ferrous iron on or beneath the seabed such as identifying shipwrecks or unexploded ordnance.


  • Asset inspection
  • Cable and pipeline integrity inspections
  • Dredge operations support
  • License support
  • Habitat mapping
  • Hydrodynamic monitoring
  • Port asset survey
  • Navigational safety
  • Nautical charting
  • Scour assessment
  • Seabed classification

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Marine and Coastal Survey - part of ABPmer


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