Hydrographic and Lidar Summer School Recap

Hydrographic and Lidar Summer School Recap

Written By: Daniel Mutton


The first ever International Hydrography and LiDAR survey summer school (Ecole internationale d’été en levés hydrographiques et LiDAR) concluded June 7th ending two weeks of presentations and practical work designed to give both students of all levels and industry professionals an introduction to: hydrographic surveying with acoustic echosounders, the theory behind underwater acoustics, bathymetric LiDAR, and their applications to both hydrography and physical oceanography. The school was hosted at Laval University in Quebec City, Quebec Canada – by the Department of Geomatic Science, organized by Dr Sylvie Daniel.

The first week of the course consisted of lectures on the theory and applications of hydrography with presentations covering topics such as ‘Vertical Referencing of Ocean Mapping Data’ (Dr Ian Church, Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering, University of New Brunswick), ‘Computer Assisted Bathymetric Processing, Uncertainty Representation and Resolution’ (Dr Brian Calder, Centre of Coastal and Ocean Mapping, Chase Ocean Engineering Lab, University of New Hampshire), and ‘Multibeam Echosounders as a tool for the recognition and morphological characterization of submarine landslides’ (Dr Jacques Locat, Professor Emeritus, Laboratoire d’Etudes sur les Risques Naturels, Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, Laval University). 

The school was primarily focused on acoustic multibeam systems. However, Kevin McGuigan (Research Associate, Applied Geomatics Research Group, Nova Scotia Community College) gave a presentation on bathymetric LiDAR and its application in coastal and shallow waters for habitat mapping, bathymetry, and marine geology.

The first week of the course concluded with a day-long seminar by Mike Brissette of R2Sonic, where he introduced underwater acoustic theory in its application to marine geomatics, and how echosounders operate. 

The second week of the summer school was focused on applying the knowledge from the first week. To this end we performed a half-day survey of a section of the Saint Lawrence River using either a Kongsberg or R2Sonic system. In addition to the survey, we used a FARO terrestrial laser scanner to conduct a survey with the purpose of taking three-dimensional distance measurements between different targets and objects. The remainder of the week was spent cleaning and processing the data from both the two surveys we conducted, and from a third hydrographic survey conducted in prior years. 

The course served as a fantastic introduction to hydrography, its theory, laws, and technologies – to both students and industry professionals. Additionally, it was a great way to network with leading researchers from around Canada, the United States, and Europe. 

Contact information: Daniel.Mutton@hotmail.com

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