P. Kerchkaert, A. Grobben, P. De Candt


In 1976 the Belgian Government decided to enlarge the harbour of Zeebrugge and to execute an artificial beach renourishment on the beaches at Knokke-Heist. A comprehensive survey program along the 24 km coastline was conceived using remote sensing techniques. This enabled correct momentary recordings of the beach areas, the production of differential charts and calculations of dune and beach volumes. However, the observations of the nearshore and offshore areas from ordinary survey vessels take too long so that no accurate momentary recordings of the seabottom topography can be achieved. On these grounds, in 1983, the Belgian Authorities have instructed the Eurosense Belfotop Company to develop an effective measuring method based on the use of a hovercraft. This hovercraft platform, named "BEASAC" and designed for hydrographic surveys, is now used for monitoring the coastal morphology and the dredging activities in the access channels to the major Belgian seaports. On the basis of the "Beasac"-soundings of the nearshore area and the aerial remote sensing data of the beach, charts and differential charts of the combined beach and nearshore area are produced. The results of this technique are very promising and will be incorporated in the further survey programs ordered by the Belgian Authorities as a substitute for the classic bathymetric vessel soundings.


air-cushion platform; fast moving platform; platform

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