Hydrographic Survey Management Guidelines

2 Hydrograhpic Survey Instructions

All hydrographic survey projects should have project instructions defining the work to be done. Detailed survey instructions should be written once the survey project has been approved and is scheduled to be executed.

2.1 Field Survey Instructions

The purpose of Field Survey Instructions is to list the work to be done and provide supplementary information not covered in the CHS standards, the regional Hydrographic Survey QMS procedures or other documents issued by CHS. The survey project instructions should be approved by the Manager of hydrographic surveys.

The details included in the survey project instructions will vary depending on the nature of the survey and its complexity, however, they should include:

  • a general description of the project,
  • the purpose of the hydrographic survey (CHS use, external client),
  • the history of the area (existing charts, previous work, etc.),
  • the area to be surveyed including limits, the survey order (Table 1 of the CHS Standards for Hydrographic Surveys), survey method, technology, data density, etc.,
  • the horizontal and vertical geodetic references to be used,
  • the accuracies to be attained (survey order), as defined in the CHS Standards for Hydrographic Surveys,
  • instructions for water level (tidal/non tidal) observations and reduction of soundings (usually separate instructions written by the Tides and Water Level Unit – see § 3.4 Tidal Instructions),
  • data processing and digital submission instructions,
  • where applicable, instructions for designating a safety officer and the compliance of the Canada Labour Code,
  • reporting (when, types of reports, statistics required, etc.).

If the project is carried out by the CHS, the following information could also be added:

  • list of participating staff,
  • commencement and termination dates,
  • sounding platforms that will be used,
  • if work is carried out for an external client: a copy of the Partnering Agreement or contract, the date the product is expected, details of deliverables (digital, paper, format, etc).

If the project is carried out by an independent firm for the CHS, the following information must also be added:

  • specific data formats and instructions on submission of data,
  • request to use specific equipment and processing packages,
  • delivery dates for products,
  • summary reports on methodology and equipment used,
  • quality control reports, including all pertinent records (field notes, etc.),
  • a copy of the Partnering, Agreement or Contract.

Additional requirements or modified survey instructions resulting from information and requests that were not available or known at the time the original instructions were written could be issued during the course of the survey.

2.2 Survey completion

In normal circumstances, a hydrographic survey should be planned and executed in a manner that will allow completion of all phases of the field work as the initial sounding coverage progresses. The initial sounding coverage should not progress far ahead of the other essential elements required to complete a specific area (shoal exams, bottom samples, range lines, positioning of fixed aids and conspicuous objects, etc.) as completed areas can readily be used to create or update CHS products.

If, during the course of a hydrographic survey, the Hydrographer-In-Charge (HIC) considers that the work specified in the survey instructions cannot be completed, he/she should plan to ensure completeness of a particular portion of the survey area.

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