State of the Science Bathymetry

State of the Science Bathymetry, Piscataway Creek, Fort Washington Marina

While I was launching my Carolina Skiff, I met a gentleman who was just getting ready to leave for the morning.


He has a Piscataway Creek client that wants to build a pier and possibly perform a dredge to service a boat for his waterfront home.


The man is Dave Pope and he specializes in performing bathymetry and water depth surveys.  His contact information is Dave Pope, 9013 Graylock Street, Alexandria, VA 22308, 703-799-0423, cell 703-627-9087,

He uses a remote controlled survey boat with single beam echo sounder, dual frequency differential GPS, sound velocity profiler, high frequency side scan sonar and underwater camera.  I was so impressed with his prices and quality of product, I asked him to give our ESA staff a presentation of his capabilities.


I also invited the chief of survey from an engineering firm that we use with regularity.  After Mr. Pope gave us an office presentation, he then took us outside to show how his equipment works.


His units are quite sensitive and can work in shallow water.  Mr. Pope specializes in performing sediment transport studies and his propitiatory software can perform with CAD, GIS and Micro-Station.  His maps can show bathymetry in inches, half-foot, foot, 2-foot and/or traditional 5-foot contours.  His contour mapping is color-coded when printed so that a client can easily visualize the river and stream contours.

He also installs automated tide gauges so that his clients cab see from their waterfront home, where exactly the daily tide is at any given time.  How cool.


His deliverables can be presented in several ways.  For example he can use Google or Bing aerial maps and lay-in color contours to show depth.  In this example of a large pond you can see that the incoming creek is shallow and the deep water is to the north (top) of the photos, and with four deep pools.


Our company does a fair degree of nontidal and tidal shoreline restoration, pier permitting and wetland creation projects.  To have high quality, high resolution underwater mapping, and the ability to manipulate data in CAD or GIS, provides us with the best possible ways to present our work and obtain our regulatory permits.  His services might be helpful for anyone doing work in shoreline, lake, pond, wetland restoration design and other natural resources management related projects.

Thank you Mr. Pope.