Hydrography on the Humber
The Hydrographic Section of Associated British Ports' Humber Estuary Services is responsible for the surveying of over 375 square kilometres (145 square miles) of the Humber harbour area. The frequency of such surveying depends upon the rate of change in the river regime and the critical nature of the depths involved. Each year, over 350 individual surveys are undertaken, resulting in the production and distribution, in total, of more than 5,000 copies of the survey charts.
- Humber Outer Approaches - surveyed every 4 -5 years
(Humber light float to Spurn light float)
Annual survey sections:-
Humber Entrance (Spurn light float to Spurn Head )
Tetney to Cleethorpes
Spurn to Grimsby
Grimsby to ImminghamStallingborough to Skitter
Thorngumbald to Albert Dock
Old Harbour to Barton Haven
Hessle to Reads Island
Reads Island to Whitton
Whitton to Trent Falls (Walker Dykes)
Trent Falls to Burton Stather/Blacktoft
Burton Stather to Keadby
Blacktoft to Saltmarsh
Saltmarsh to Skelton Bridge
The above form the basic work that continues as a background to the "navigation-channel only " surveys, some of which are carried out as frequently as fortnightly. Work on these annual survey sections usually commences in March, as weather and available daylight improve, and continues to completion. The annual survey, covering the river almost from bank to bank, forms the basis of the published chart - "Spurn to Barton Haven".
The other main chart that is offered for general sale is the Upper Humber bi-monthly "Barton Haven to Burton Stather", which is also a compilation based on the annual survey background, with fortnightly surveys of the buoyed channel inserted. Large quantities of these charts are sold to both professional mariners and amateur sailors. The other charts normally available are annual surveys of the Rivers Ouse and Trent - "Apex Light to Skelton Bridge" and "Burton Stather to Keadby."
Navigation channel, or area, examination surveys and their frequency:-
Burcom Shoal Deposit 3-monthly
Hawke Channel monthly
Spurn to Grimsby 2-monthly
Sunk channel deposit 3-monthly
South Shoal (main channel area) 2-3months
Sunk dredged Channel fortnightly (can be weekly or even daily during a dredging campaign)
I.O.T. Shoal 6-monthly
Foul Holme Channel 6-monthly
Halton Middle 3-6months
South Channel, Hull up to fortnightly
New Holland to Hessle (Hessle Sand) 3-6 months
Hessle to Reads Island up to fortnightly
Reads Island to Whitton fortnightly
Apex to Burton Stather monthly
Various sites in the River Trent between Burton Stather and Keadby monthly
The above charts cover areas, which are liable to change within the frequency of annual surveys. If problems arise, any of these areas can require more frequent, possibly daily, surveys.
The information gained from the surveys is promulgated on a same day/next day basis, river broadcasts and Notices to Mariners prepared, also floating mark moves planned for subsequent implementation by the buoy vessel "Humber Sentinel" (mainly in the area above Hull roads). This can lead to as many as 90 seamark movements per year (1995). Regular and "one-off" contract surveys are also undertaken and in addition, a number of dock and dock entrance surveys are undertaken for the internal use of ABP Dockmasters.