Knowing the depth and shape of the seafloor is fundamental to a wide range of applications, including navigation, weather prediction, disaster management, coastal management, habitat mapping and resource development. Unfortunately, only approximately 6 % of the world’s oceans are mapped to modern survey standards, leaving us without basic information about the ocean and its processes. As the world’s leading Geo-data specialist, Fugro is in a position to help close this data gap and contribute to a more informed and sustainable ocean future. That’s why we are leading the private sector in support of Seabed 2030.
One of the primary ways Fugro is supporting Seabed 2030 is through crowdsourced bathymetry contributions. In 2017, we devised a method for collecting valuable high-resolution bathymetry datasets from our survey vessels as they transit between survey projects. This approach is made possible through Fugro’s Office Assisted Remote Services (OARS®), a proprietary technology that enables safe and efficient data acquisition without the need for dedicated survey staff onboard. In this way, valuable data can be collected from transiting vessels with virtually no operational impact.
As an appreciable portion of our work is ocean-related, Seabed 2030 provides a perfect opportunity for us to contribute to global society and practice good ocean stewardship.
Working with two survey vessels, OARS allowed Fugro to deliver approximately 65,000 km² of crowdsourced bathymetry data to GEBCO within the first year of initiating the in-transit data collection methodology. Based on that success, we recently expanded our collection capacity to include four survey vessels and eventually intend to include our entire global survey fleet in the acquisition effort for an increasingly significant impact on the programme.
Along with our own data contributions, we’re working with our clients to investigate how their datasets (existing and planned) could be incorporated into the Seabed 2030 programme. In some instances, data sharing is straightforward, but in many others, datasets contain sensitive information. Reducing the data resolution to a suitable degree and/or delaying the release of datasets until an acceptable amount of time has passed can mitigate these sensitivities and ensure the integrity of client-owned data.
We are also helping to establish a workflow for integrating third-party datasets into the overall Seabed 2030 project database. The workflow will address such things as data formats and metadata standards, with the goal of simplifying and accelerating the rate of crowd sourced contributions and data sharing arrangements.
Fugro’s involvement in Seabed 2030 dates back to the programme’s beginning stages. Over the past 18 months, we have participated in a panel on “Mapping the Ocean Floor” at the Forum for Future Ocean Floor Mapping (FFOFM), provided industry input in the development of the Seabed 2030 Road Map, and served as a member of the Seabed 2030 Establishment Team.
“We are proud to continue our support of the Seabed 2030 programme and to lead industry participation in this way,” said David Millar, Government Accounts Director for Fugro in the Americas. “As an appreciable portion of our work is ocean-related, Seabed 2030 provides a perfect opportunity for us to contribute to global society and practice good ocean stewardship.”
- Less than 6 % of the world’s oceans have been mapped using modern survey techniques
- Water covers 71 % of the Earth’s surface
- The deepest part of the ocean is 10,944 m below sea level (the highest point on Earth is 8848 m above sea level
For offshore rig sites, power cable and pipeline routes and engineering field developments to reduce project risk and enhance safety.
Our work helps reduce uncertainty related to ground conditions and the marine environment, helping clients to manage risks and save costs through improved project reliability.