Department for Transport


Hydrography is broadly defined as "the measurement and description of the features of the sea and coastal areas for the primary purpose of navigation and all other marine purposes and activities".

The MCA has overall responsibility for the UK's hydrographic obligations under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), but works in close partnership with the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) to ensure that these obligations are met.  Certain hydrographic functions, however, are undertaken directly by the MCA (for example, performing hydrographic surveys under the "Civil Hydrography Programme").  Find out more about MCA's hydrographic involvement below, if you can't find what you need then please get in touch.

CHP Area of Repsonsibility    The UK Civil Hydrography Programme (CHP)
Overview  |  Routine resurvey  |  Survey specifications  |  Propose a hydrographic survey  |  Wrecks
Find out how and why the MCA systematically surveys the seafloor surrounding the UK.  Should you know of any areas of UK seabed that require update to the nautical charts and publications that cover them, let us know.
Data Sharing    Data Sharing & Availability
CHP data  |  Pan-Government hydrographic data  |  Share your hydrographic data  |  Guidelines for offshore developers
View the results of the Civil Hydrography Programme using Google Earth and contribute your survey effort to the CHP.  Also have a look to see where other Government organisations have surveyed and are planning to survey around the UK.
Projects & Partnerships    Projects & Partnerships
INIS Hydro  |  Dorset Integrated Survey Project (DORIS)  |  Joint Irish Bathymetric Survey (JIBS)  |  Strategic Coastal Monitoring Programmes
The MCA are keen to partner with other organisations for hydrographic survey.  Find out about projects we are involved in and organisations we work with.
Events    Events & Meetings
Civil Hydrography Working Group (CHWG)  |  Civil Hydrography Annual Seminar (CHAS)
Keep up to date with events and meetings concerning the Civil Hydrography Programme.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD:  CHP Survey Areas (shapefile - updated March 2014)  |  CHP 2013 yearbook (7.0MB)  |  See all downloads