Skip to main content


CEG3710 : Offshore Surveying

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Stuart Edwards
  • Lecturer: Professor Peter Clarke
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The student will gain an understanding of the special methods used and problems encountered when applying the basic principles of surveying science in an offshore environment. It is emphasised that these basic principles, EM propagation, GPS, geodetic coordinate systems, standard least squares methods etc., are all treated elsewhere in the programmes of study. Here the previous theory and practices are reinforced but the emphasis is explicitly on their modification and application in the offshore environment. Tidal theory together with basic Kalman filtering are introduced. The student will also be introduced to the terminology, regulations and organisations current in the offshore industry and have the opportunity to practice team working and logistical planning as demanded by the industry during the Fieldwork Exercise (seabed mapping).

Outline Of Syllabus

Tidal theory: The need to account for tidal effects when navigating and surveying offshore. Sounding and sweeping for bathymetric survey: The design of a sounding survey; need for and equipment for sweeping.
Swathe bathymetry: The techniques, equipment and calibration
Sub-sea bottom seismic investigation: A brief overview
Position fixing: Including a review of visual positioning techniques; technical and practical considerations and their appropriateness; electromagnetic positioning by range measurement; EPF principles; Range-difference measuring systems and their calibration; GPS/GNSS for offshore surface positioning; Equipment and services for offshore positioning.
Positioning computation techniques including sequential and step by step Least Squares, Kalman filtering and its application.
Underwater acoustic positioning: Principles of underwater measurement of range: techniques, equipment and calibration; acoustic networks, acoustic range and bearing.
Integration of survey techniques: Vessel requirements; integration of sensors; integration of software. Calibration of whole systems.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Combination of present in person (50%) and non-synchronous online OR synch online
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Individual preparation for Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion16:006:00Individual Kalman Filter Report
Guided Independent StudyProject work18:008:00Port of Tyne Group report preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00Individual Kalman Filter Report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00whole class 2 hours sync online Kalman Filter Practical, Session 2
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork18:008:00Port of Tyne Boat Practical Groups of 3-4 2 per group inc travel (1hr Boat) 1tech discussion PiP/sy
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study143:0043:00Consolidation of materials
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Early lectures overview the role of the industry and all participant organisations. Further lectures introduce the offshore environment – just how to navigate a boat etc. All the principles and techniques as required are then covered in a logical order. The final series of lectures show how the techniques studied have to be integrated to solve particular problems. The seabed mapping exercise (Fieldwork Exercise) is very simple but demonstrates to the students the need for very detailed planning, precise operational procedures and great care in data capture and processing.

Alternative will be offered to students who are unable to be present in person.

Students should consult their individual timetable for up-to-date delivery information.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A70PiP or 24 hour take home exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M15Offshore position computation (individual submission)
Report2M15Group report on the project (Port of the Tyne boat Fieldwork Exercise), approx 4 pages to include diagrams and tables.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The main assessment (70%) is by examination giving the opportunity for individual assessment of the student’s knowledge of theory, concepts and practice. The assessment of the Port of Tyne Fieldwork Exercise is by group project(15%), affording the opportunity for students to compile a succinct appraisal of the complex survey activities required for offshore work. The individual computation exercise allows students to demonstrate their understanding of positioning theory covered in lectures (15%).

Reading Lists