Definition of Hydrography


Hydrography is the branch of applied sciences which deals with the measurement and description of the physical features of oceans, seas, coastal areas, lakes and rivers, as well as with the prediction of their change over time, for the primary purpose of safety of navigation and in support of all other marine activities, including economic development, security and defence, scientific research, and environmental protection.

Importance of Hydrography

In addition to supporting safe and efficient navigation of ships, hydrography underpins almost every other activity associated with the sea, including:

  • resource exploitation – fishing, minerals, …
  • environmental protection and management
  • maritime boundary delimitation
  • national marine spatial data infrastructures
  • recreational boating
  • maritime defence and security
  • tsunami flood and inundation modelling
  • coastal zone management
  • tourism
  • marine science

For more information about Hydrography and some short videos, please visit IHO homepage