Archive for 09/22/2011

Hydro International – 

NOAA Ship Rainier has begun a month-long survey of the seafloor near Alaska’s Prince of Wales Island as part of a multi-year effort to update nautical charts for the area.

In addition to supporting marine navigation, data acquired by the 231-foot hydrographic survey vessel will also support marine ecosystem studies and improve inundation models for areas vulnerable to tsunamis.

NOAA’s survey effort in the area began in 2006 with the Gulf of Esquilbel and has continued south over recent years.

The first surveys of the area took place in the early 1900s. Depths were acquired with lead lines, a method that was accurate at the point of the sounding, but lacked information about the surrounding area.

Commissioned in 1968, Rainier is one of three ships in the NOAA fleet that conduct hydrographic surveys in support of the nautical charting mission of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey.

Rainier last visited the area in 2009 before undergoing a year-long, USD13.1-million major repair period during which the ship was outfitted with up to date equipment to conduct its survey missions with even greater efficiency and accuracy.

Full story…