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Hydrographic Survey Management Guidelines


The advent of satellite positioning, multi-transducer and multibeam echo sounding systems and sophisticated data processing tools have drastically modified the way hydrographic surveys are conducted. Management tools such as ISO 9001 have also had an impact on the methods used to ensure quality assurance.

The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) Survey Standing Orders, as they were written in the 1980’s and 1990’s, no longer reflect the standards and the methods of work required to properly conduct a hydrographic survey. After review, the requirements for the completion of a hydrographic survey have been divided into three separate documents.

The CHS Standards for Hydrographic Surveys is the document that specifies the requirements for hydrographic surveys in order that hydrographic data is collected according to specific standards. This document quantifies the accuracies required, depending on the use of the data. All CHS hydrographic surveys must adhere to the various standards listed in this document.

The Quality Management System (QMS) Hydrographic Survey Procedures detail the procedures, the methods, the equipment and the steps required to obtain the accuracies specified in the CHS Standards for Hydrographic Surveys. There may be small regional differences but the regional QMA procedures ensure that the CHS standards are being met.

This document titled Hydrographic Survey Management Guidelines serves as a link between the CHS Standards and the regional QMS Hydrographic Survey Procedures.

This document makes reference to various documents produced and maintained by the Canadian Hydrographic Service. To obtain more information on those documents, please contact the Canadian Hydrographic Service.

Prepared by : Canadian Hydrographic Service
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
February 2021,
Edition 4

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