Horizon Geosciences

Survey and geotechnical services

Airborne Survey

Horizon performs airborne surveys to chart large areas of the Earth’s surface to IHO standards in short timescales. It is an extremely effective tool for charting survey areas that extend from offshore, through the intertidal zone, onto the land. Its ability to be mobilised quickly on aircraft of opportunity around the world make it a valuable survey service. This data is generally used for:

  • Nautical charting
  • Coastal zone erosion monitoring
  • Sea level rise mitigation planning
  • Storm surge / tsunami modelling
  • Habitat mapping
  • Renewable energy and shallow surveys
  • EEZ delineation / UNCLOS

Nautical charting

LiDAR can achieve IHO order 1 standards for sounding positioning accuracy, object detection and vertical uncertainty. It is a powerful and popular tool with Hydrographic offices because of its efficiencies, as well as the extra data rendered that is useful for charting aerial imagery of land and sea.

Coastal zone erosion monitoring

Post large storm events, bathymetric LiDAR uses ‘Change Analysis’ through Difference Modelling along the coastal strip to allow the difference in heights and depths along the shore to identify where erosion or accretion has occurred. This can be used to help predict where mitigating measures may be needed in the future.

Sea level rise mitigation planning

Bathymetric LiDAR can be used in developing the baseline model which is used for forecasting the effects of sea level rise and its impacts on urban planning and coastal management. The same data can be used for storm surge and tsunami modelling.

Habitat mapping

Combined bathymetric / topographic LiDAR along with digital photography and seabed reflectance provides an excellent dataset, which along with direct sampling and observation can be used to predict seabed habitats through interpretation of the data layers. With the ability to detect the seabed in up to 50m of water (clarity permitting) and obtain imagery at decametric accuracy, a rapid and repeatable study can be made of large remote areas.

Renewable energy and shallow surveys

The very nature and extents of the sites selected for offshore wind farms and shallow oil and gas exploration suits LiDAR surveys. The water tends to be reasonably shallow, the survey areas are large and the sites are within easy range for the aircraft. Providing wide area coverage at higher collection rates than vessel based methods, bathymetric LiDAR allows data to be collected, processed and delivered to the end user in a short time scale. This allows for site assessment and planning prior to the deployment of marine assets.

EEZ delineation / UNCLOS

A country’s territorial waters and EEZ are both delineated from the mean low water mark. The use of bathymetric LiDAR allows safe, rapid data collection in this key area at any state of the tidal window due to its ability to capture both topographic and bathymetric data simultaneously. Through careful planning and understanding of the environment, this key coastal zone can be captured efficiently.


Horizon produces a vast range of high quality deliverables from a single LiDAR survey. Our clients benefit from our ability to produce a seamless dataset from the deeper waters, through the intertidal zones and onto the land. Such deliverables include:

  • Bathymetric Digital Elevation modelling (DEM)
  • Topographic Digital Elevation modelling (DEM)
  • Contours
  • Sounding collections
  • Slope analysis
  • Rugosity
  • Photo mosaics
  • Seabed reflectance
  • Geo-referenced images
  • AutoCAD charts and GIS deliverables