Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

Committee Director

David R. Basco

Committee Member

Isao Ishibashi

Committee Member

Laura J. Harrell

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E54 N45 2007


Bathymetric monitoring (hydrographic surveying) is a continuously evolving practice for determining the existing elevation and gradation of the surface bottom for a given body of water. This practice is essential for the generation of navigational charts and maps. To ensure safe passage, surveys are conducted to monitor navigational channels for underwater obstructions (i.e. pipelines, anchoring, wrecks, etc.), silt deposits and sediment transport processes.

Human civilization has impacted all facets of our global environment and we have just begun to understand the damage that is inflicted upon the Earth by human influence. Construction of marine structures upstream can have drastic effects on sediment transport processes and can cause erosion and accretion in areas not typically subjected to these processes. Therefore monitoring of these affected environments is conducted to determine if these marine structures are detrimentally affecting the environment.

There are multiple survey methods that range from the lead line and "rod and level" methods, which have been employed by the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) since 1930s, to the advanced sleds and LIDAR systems in use today. However, some private companies are now designing and constructing their own devices to perform hydrographic surveying. For example, "Waterway Survey & Engineering Limited", a local surveying company, has built a Jet Ski mounted with a Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS) and single beam acoustical fathometer to perform these surveys. The hydrography industry has taken on the challenge of designing and constructing surveying devices that are cost economical and more labor efficient . Still, a device even smaller is needed to perform these surveys in shallow protected coastal areas and needs to be portable, cost economical and less labor intensive.

In this report we have designed and constructed a single device that can be handled by one person and utilizes DGPS in conjunction with a Single Beam Acoustical fathometer to perform a quick and accurate survey. A control survey was conducted using lead line methodology to verify the accuracy of the scow survey. This report shows that this new scow performs a quick and accurate survey, while reducing overall labor costs.


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