Port of Southampton - Hydrography Team
ABP Port of Southampton
VTS Building; 37 Berth
Test Road; Eastern Docks
Port Reception +44(0)23 8048 8800
Fax: +44(0)23 8060 8234
A Brief Description
The Port of Southampton maintains a permanent hydrographic survey capability. The Hydrography Team is part of the marine department, based in the Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) centre, at 37 Berth (Dock Head) in the Eastern Docks. The marine department is headed by the Harbour Master.
The primary function of the Port Hydrographer and his team is to
"Continuously monitor the Bathymetry (Seabed topography) within the Port Limits, and to bring any changes to the attention of all mariners using the port, by the most appropriate means"
This is achieved by regular hydrographic survey, the results of which are published locally in the form of charts and plans. These are used by the VTS officers and Pilots to assist in bringing vessels safely into the Port. In addition, all the survey information is sent to the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, where it is used in the compilation of British Admiralty Charts. Thus the surveys produced by the Port of Southampton are available anyone who posses an up to date Admiralty Chart covering the Port of Southampton. In addition, some information of a particularly urgent or temporary nature, may be disseminated by means of local and / or Admiralty notices to mariners.
As well as monitoring changes in water depths, the Hydrographers are also concerned with maintaining the depths advertised to port users, in the interests both of safety of navigation, and the commercial viability of the port. This is achieved by the careful monitoring of the regular surveys to identify areas of siltation. This is followed by the planning and monitoring of regular maintenance dredging, which is required in the port to ensure that safe navigable depths are available.
Closely connected with all the hydrographic survey work, is the monitoring and recording of tidal events within the port, both the rise and fall of the water, and the tidally induced currents. The Hydrography Team therefore maintains currently 3 tide level recorders within the port, and periodically review the tidal current (rate and set) information available in local and Admiralty publications.