Skip to main content
International Fees

International fees are typically three times the amount of domestic fees. Exact cost will be calculated upon completion of registration.

Course details

This course provides an understanding of hydrographic surveying in sufficient depth to enable the student to plan, carry out, and evaluate proposals for such a survey. Topics include Canadian legislation, oceanography and marine geosciences, marine positioning, depth determination using echo-sounders and multi-beam systems, side-scan sonar, some non-acoustic depth determination techniques, tides, hydrographic charts, data management, hydrographic survey specifications and project management.


  • 50% in GEOM 3050 and 50% in MATH 3512
  • Course registration is restricted to students with completion of 2-year Geomatics diploma.



Domestic fees


Course offerings

Winter 2024

Below is one offering of GEOM 8195 for the Winter 2024 term.

CRN 88238


Mon Jan 08 - Fri Apr 19 (15 weeks)

  • 15 weeks
  • CRN 88238
  • Domestic fees $1107.51
    International fees are typically three times the amount of domestic fees.
Class meeting times
Dates Days Times Locations
Jan 08 - Apr 19 N/A N/A Online


Course outline

Course outline TBD — see Learning Outcomes in the interim.



Domestic fees


Important information
  1. Internet delivery format.
  2. Departmental approval needed
  3. International fees are typically three times the amount of domestic fees. Exact cost will be calculated upon completion of registration.
  4. **IMPORTANT: The final exam must be written at an approved Exam Centre only. Details will be emailed to you after registering for the course. Students may receive approval to register for this course with completion of 2 year Geomatics diploma, and meeting all other prerequisites. To receive approval, please email your official academic transcript(s) and BCIT Student ID to If you're new to BCIT, create an ID at .


This course offering has been cancelled. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the three main pieces of Canadian legislation that govern a large portion of hydrographic surveys conducted in Canadian waters.
  • Demonstrate how Canada's offshore international boundaries are determined.
  • Explain why a basic knowledge of oceanography and marine geosciences is necessary for the planning and conduct of hydrographic surveys.
  • Recognize some key instrumentation used to collect oceanographic and marine geosciences physical samples and digital data.
  • Relate the physical properties of water to the speed of sound in water and demonstrate how to calculate sound speed from measurements of temperature, pressure (depth), and salinity.
  • Evaluate the various coordinate systems involved for the horizontal positioning for a hydrographic survey.
  • Differentiate between the various vertical datums used in hydrographic operations and methods used to establish them.
  • Explain the functions of marine positioning instrumentation used to determine system orientation and vessel heave.
  • Illustrate the various sources of errors of horizontal positioning when conducting a hydrographic survey.
  • Describe the principles of long, short and ultra-short baseline acoustic positioning system modes.
  • Perform a water level datum transfer, for both tidal and non-tidal waters.
  • Explain how acoustic system performance is affected by frequency, beamwidth, pulse-length, pulse repetition rate, detection threshold, bandwidth, and resolution.
  • For single-beam echo-sounders:
    • Explain the differences between narrow and wide beam transducers.
    • Describe the various calibration methods.
    • Explain the reductions needed to be made to measured depths due to water level variations, draft and transducer separation.
    • Assess the uncertainty in soundings due to errors in the positioning system, echo-sounder, water level measurement, vessel motion and seabed topography and explain how to select appropriate methods for controlling or reducing sounding uncertainty for specific applications.
  • For multi-beam echo-sounders:
    • Explain the basic principles of multi-beam sonar transmit and receive beam forming and steering.
    • Analyze and process a multibeam sensor calibration dataset, known as a Patch Test
  • For side-scan sonar systems:
    • Explain how side-scan sonar systems work.
    • Interpret side-scan sonar records.

Effective as of Winter 2018

Related Programs

Hydrographic Surveying (GEOM 8195) is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Construction and the Environment

  1. Geomatics
    Bachelor of Science Full-time


Interested in being notified about future offerings of Hydrographic Surveying (GEOM 8195)? If so, fill out the information below and we'll notify you by email when courses for each new term are displayed here.

  • Privacy Notice: The information you provide will be used to respond your request for BCIT course information and is collected under Section 26(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). For more information about BCIT’s privacy practices contact: Associate Director, Privacy, Information Access & Policy Management, British Columbia Institute of Technology, 3700 Willingdon Ave. Burnaby, BC V5A 3H2, email: