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An equivalent bottom for navigation above irregular bottoms
Vantorre, M.; Lataire, E.; Candries, M.; Van Doorn, J.; van Heel, D. (2013). An equivalent bottom for navigation above irregular bottoms, in: Van Lancker, V. et al. (Ed.) MARID 2013: Fourth International Conference on Marine and River Dune Dynamics. Bruges, Belgium, 15-17 April 2013. VLIZ Special Publication, 65: pp. 301-308
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

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Document type: Conference paper


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  • Van Doorn, J.
  • van Heel, D.

    An algorithm is suggested for converting the raw sounding data of a sea bottom with local depth variations into manageable dredging maps and electronic chart systems (ECS). The resulting equivalent bottom” can be considered to offer a comparable safety as a horizontal bottom with the same depth, and therefore does notjeopardize safe sailing behaviour of a vessel, even if the bottom is locally more shallow than the equivalent depth. On the other hand, accounting for the most shallow spots of a navigation area would result into a lower allowable draft for the vessels or a significant increase of dredging costs. The proposed algorithm has been developed for the access channels for maritime shipping traffic connecting the Western Scheldt estuary with open sea, which is partly characterized by ripples in the bottom. The more theoretical outlines of the principles behind the concept of the equivalent bottom are explained, followed by a more pragmatic approach offering the advantage of a more straightforward implementation.

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