The River Waal is the main commercial shipping route in the Netherlands. In order to allow vessels to load to maximum capacity, it is of utmost importance that the water depths are guaranteed at all times.
In order to monitor this, RWS Oost-Nederland surveys the riverbed with Multibeam Echosoundings at a very regular interval. The data are used to create a very accurate representation of the bottom morphology and to monitor the channel depth.
The data tell RWS if the dredging contractor meets the specified requirements and at the same time the data are used for maintenance planning purposes. Starting 2012 the dredging contractors will become responsible for the soundings in order to prove that they meet the channel depth specifications.
Between 2005 and 2011 the sounding data were collected and processed with the software package PDS-2000. RWS Oost-Nederland tasked Periplus with the conversion of all PDS-files into a readable XYZ-ASCII format. This way the historical data become available for different software packages allowing an even better monitoring of the bottom morphology. The data conversion were successfully completed in the first quarter of 2012.
All together more than 100 km channel, almost 1000 survey days and 8 Terrabyte of data were processed.
Subsea World News Staff , March 20, 2012; Image: Periplus