Sea bottom cartography: a deep look over the sea bed!



During summer 2007 we undertook a cartography survey for the Department of Environmental Engineering of the Democritus University of Thrace, in the frame of the European program Interreg III. Goal of the program was the bathymetric investigation of some sandy submarine deposits out of Nestos’ river, suitable to be used for erosion control.

In action on our zodiac

With some members of the University of Xanthi we started the survey using our 6 m zodiac, properly equipped. In fact, to “properly equip” our zodiac was not easy at all!

We had two big screens and two computer bodies (one for the cartographer and one for the sonar) to fit on the zodiac. We tried different possibilities, at the end we built a hand made wooden box where we put the computers and we placed it under the back sit, while we fixed the screens on the cockpit.

Thanks to the cartographer Olex ES60 of the Norwegian company Simrad, we investigated the area between the estuary of Nestos’ river and the North Eastern coast of Thassos Island. We undertook a survey driving up and down in the study area in order to describe it in any detail.

Map of the Gulf of Kavala


At the end we obtained a huge number of bathymetric maps indicating the sea bottom depth and the hardness of the substrate, precisely measured every 5 meters! The scientific team from the University of Xanthi made the data analysis and the relative report.

The Olex system produced different graphs, according to the value detected.

The depth values are represented in blue-light blue colours, changing from light blue for shallow waters to dark blue for deep ones.

Cartography: depth values

The hardness values of the sea bottom are expressed in orange-reddish colours, ranging from violet, for the soft bottom to yellow for the hardest ones.

Cartography: hardness values


Now, this page took a very serious aspect, due to its technical contents. But we assure you that we had a lot of fun doing this survey! And we learnt many interesting things, too!

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