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In May 2014, Geodynamics returned from completing multibeam and sidescan sonar surveys at Badin Lake in Stanly County, NC. This follows multibeam with acoustic backscatter, sidescan, and singlebeam surveys of the same site in 2011 and 2013. Badin Lake is the site of a lakebed remediation project adjacent to the Alcoa aluminum processing plant. Geodynamics’ surveys have covered 40 square acres of the lake and included classification of sediment type and identification of submerged objects.
Geodynamics assisted the NOAA survey response team during their AUV training missions at Cape Lookout, NC in early May. NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey Development Lab is evaluating the use of AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) for identifying and mapping submerged features including wrecks and hazards to navigation. Completely un-tethered from a research vessel, the AUV is programmed to surface at a pre-programmed location for retrieval. On board Geodynamics’ R/V Benthos, the survey response team ran the VCT and Remus AUVs simultaneously for 3 days in the Cape Lookout Bight. Sidescan sonar data collected during the training operations will be reviewed by scientists at NOAA Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research for potential use in ongoing sea turtle or fisheries research.
Geodynamics will begin hydrographic surveys for the USACE Norfolk District in May 2014. Supported by partners Andrews, Miller and Associates and AXIS Geospatial, this long-term contract will meet the Corps’ requirements for engineering and design, hydrographic and geodetic surveys, tidal studies, aerial surveys, and planning for dredged material placement.
In summer 2013, Geodynamics was contracted to assess and characterize the seafloor in support of researchers at UNC-CH’s Institute for Marine Science and NOAA’s Center for Coastal Fisheries Habitat Research. Geodynamics developed a detailed survey plan to conduct preliminary environmental site characterizations using sidescan and multibeam sonar. The survey design balanced the need for appropriate sediment characterization and target identification with constraints to available shiptime and a limited budget. The survey efficiently mapped 437mi2 of seafloor in BOEM Call Area Wilmington-East off Cape Fear, NC aboard the NOAA research vessel Nancy Foster. Geodynamics oversaw all hydrographic operations, including 2700 line miles of full coverage (110%) sidescan sonar using an EdgeTech 4200 and ‘skunk stripe’ multibeam collection using a Reson 7125, both paired with an Applanix POS-MV inertial navigation system.
Geodynamics Chief Hydrographer, Dave Bernstein, joined Dr. Leslie Sautter in training students from the College of Charleston Benthic Acoustic Survey & Mapping Program in the use of multibeam and sidescan sonar data acquisition and processing. Using a Kongsberg 2040 multibeam system aboard the R/V Savannah (of Skidaway Institute of Oceanography), the students mapped the Transect Valleys and Cooper River Tee.