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Practical Hydrography



Course format On-site
Date 2020-11-03 - 2021-03-24
Entry level Bachelor
Cost 59 500 SEK

The aim of this course is to provide training in applied hydrography for anyone wishing to enter the field of hydrography. The course does not directly address the math, physics, and IT; however, the course does include a “computation tools” module that will cover many aspects of hydrography related aspects of math, physics and IT.

The program will begin with an overview of hydrography. This short course will include all aspects of hydrography from data collection through data processing and analysis to final product. It will include a day of data collection on the new GU research vessel Skagerak. A computation tools module, that will introduce the participants to programming in Python and provide a review of some math and physics concepts, will follow this course. A nautical science and meteorology module will come next, followed by remote sensing and water levels. This will complete the first 5-week section of the program.

The second and third 5-week sections will be comprised of a combination of theory and practical application. Much of the theory will be delivered through an on-line marine geophysics module, which will cover theoretical aspects of marine geology, acoustics, oceanography, positioning, acoustic systems, geodesy, magnetics and geophysics. This module was developed by SU and has been offered on-line for two years.

The on-line theory module will be intermingled with applied hydrography modules.Participants will have the opportunity to collect, process and analyse hydrographic information with the GU, SU MMT and/or SMA vessels, equipment and software. Each step of the instruction will include a discussion on the applicable theory. The on-line theory and practical application module will be synchronized with the applied modules. The applied component will begin with a module for land surveying practice that will include coordinate system transfer and map projections. This will be followed by two modules on hydrographic operations, which include hydrographic data collection. The final module of this section will be used to process the data collected in the previous module and will cover all aspects of hydrographic data management.

The final 5-week section will be dedicated to the Comprehensive Final Field Project (CFFP). The first module will be used to discuss survey standards, specifications and projects. The last 4 weeks of the program will be taken up by the CFFP where  participants will plan and execute a hydrographic survey as per specifications provided by the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA). This survey will be conducted in an area designated by SMA and the results used in their charting program. Senior surveyors from the SMA and MMT will supervise the CFFP with GU oversite.


A Bachelor's degree in Natural Science/Engineering/Technology including at least 15 credits in Mathematics (calculus and linear algebra), or equivalent, is required. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.

Grant opportunities

EU/EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students do not pay fees. More information on:

Learning outcomes


Hydrography is the science of measuring and depicting those parameters necessary to describe the precise nature and configuration of the seabed, its geographical relationship to the land mass, and the characteristics and dynamics of the sea. These parameters include bathymetry, tides, currents, waves, physical properties of sea water, geology and geophysics (reference University of Southern Mississippi). Hydrographic information is used to create nautical charts for safety of navigation as well as for coastal zone management. Many of the parameters used in ocean research are measured using hydrographic techniques. Understanding hydrography and the methods and means of collecting and processing hydrographic information provides students with a unique and highly sought after set of skills for both research and the ocean mapping workforce. After this course, students will be able to:

  • Configure, operate and collect data with multibeam systems, and associated equipment and software
  • Process and combine that data in industry standard software
  • Perform quality control and evaluate the data against international standards
  • Create bathymetric surfaces
  • Understand the use of hydrographic in many marine applications; including:charting, coastal zone management, fisheries research, habitat mapping and environment monitoring

Knowledge and understanding

  • Understanding of the concepts behind ocean mapping systems and information
  • Understanding of the processes for hydrographic data collection and processing
  • Knowledge of the products and uses of hydrographic information in research,renewable and non-renewable resource management, coastal zone management

Competence and skills

  • Basic programming skills using Python
  • Deployment and operation of Hydrographic survey equipment and data collection software
  • Use of acoustic data processing software
  • Use of satellite positioning equipment, data collection and processing techniques and software
  • Develop and use Python code to help evaluate results
  • Create final bathymetric grid surfaces
  • Create comprehensive reports detailing all aspects of a hydrographicsurvey including; data collection, data processing, products, results and quality

Judgement and approach

  • Assess the quality of hydrographic information and products
  • Diagnose and repair artifacts in bathymertic surfaces
  • Create survey project specification given project requirements and necessary standards
  • Develop survey project implementation plans (including equipment and methodology) given survey speifications


ISCED Categories

Marine Geology
Physical and chemical oceanography
Machinery and operators
Navigation and seamanship