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Hydrographic Surveying

A Pla Surveyor at work on the Survey Vessel 'Yantlet'Operating three specialist vessels, our Hydrographic Service undertakes regular surveys of all the main channels in the tidal River Thames, providing vital information on depths and tides, as well as locating and marking any sunken obstructions.

Recent investment of £400,000 to provide multibeam echo sounder systems (MBES) has given the Hydrographic team much-increased capability and speed when it comes to inspections and surveys.PLA Surveyors prepare the Side-Scan Sonar equipment

These high-resolution systems give a complete picture of the river bed, not only providing total coverage for depths and safety of navigation, but also giving invaluable information to engineers, geophysicists and archaeologists. With the capability of being tilted, the system can also take a sideways look and allow detailed examination of submerged structures such as dock walls.

PLA Hydrographic Service already carries out a large number of surveys for berth operators and in support of dredging projects.  With the MBES equipment it is now able to extend the third-party services it offers to customers, on top of its normal duties for the PLA within its responsibilities for safety of navigation and conservancy.

To find out more about the PLA's Hydrographic Team, click here, or click here to contact the team.

Film: Charting the Thames

Watch our film: Charting the Thames where Port of London Authority Hydrographer John Pinder talks about hydrographic surveying and chart production for the River Thames.