World Hydrography Day – June 21

On June 21st, World Hydrography Day highlights the importance of surveying and charting bodies of water. This day also designed to raise awareness about hydrography and how it plays a role in improved knowledge of the seas and oceans.

Every year the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) hosts a variety of activities that focus on the annual theme. 

It’s a known fact that 71 percent of the earth is covered with water. While most of the earth’s water is found in the oceans, it is also found in lakes, rivers, swamps, glaciers, and aquifers. It even exists in the air in the form of water vapor. Water is important for a number of reasons. Without water, humans and animals could not survive. We also use water for irrigating crops, keeping things clean, and providing recreational opportunities.

Water also plays a key role in transportation. To navigate the earth’s waterways, scientists find out specific information. This information allows ships and other vessels to navigate the waters safely and efficiently. This falls under the science of hydrography. The information these scientists look for include:

  • Water depth
  • Shape of the seafloor and coastline
  • Location of possible obstructions
  • Physical features of water bodies

Scientists use all this information to update nautical charts. These charts cover 95,000 miles of shoreline. Additionally, the charts cover 3.6 million square nautical miles of waters in the U.S. alone. Besides transportation and navigation, hydrography also helps in other areas. These areas include seafloor construction, anchoring, understanding fish habitats, and laying pipelines and cables.

The IHO created World Hydrography Day in 2005. That same year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that recognized the establishment of this day. The date of June 21st coincides with the anniversary of the founding of the IHO in 1921 under the name International Hydrographic Bureau. The name changed to the IHO in 1970.

The theme this year 2023 is "Hydrography - Underpinning the Digital Twin of the Ocean".

Source: https://iho.int


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