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Satellite Derived Bathymetry



TCarta is one of the first commercial providers of high resolution Satellite Derived Bathymetry. Satellite Derived Bathymetry provides water depth data in coastal and near shore areas and is created using advanced algorithms in combination with multispectral satellite imagery.



Bathymetry has historically been expensive due to on-site collection methods, making it costly and unviable for small projects and certain industries. Due to advances in technology and the development of Satellite Derived Bathymetry, now it is affordable for all. TCarta can provide a range of datasets to suit your project′s individual requirements.

No mobilization or permits are required for Satellite Derived Bathymetry as no physical site visit is needed. This removes health and safety risk, while also the non-intrusive method removes any environmental impact.

TCarta have completed numerous bespoke satellite derived bathymetry projects around the world, providing data in shallow water locations difficult to access with a survey vessel. Large areas can be produced very quickly at a fraction of the cost of traditional survey methods. Customers have included governments, international hydrographic offices, engineering firms, oil and gas and environmental companies.

Product Range

Satellite Derived Bathymetry can be created at several resolutions, depending upon your project size, budget and final application. By varying the satellite sensor used in production a different grid size can be output:

2m Satellite Derived Bathymetry image of Red Sea reefs

Input Grid spacing
WorldView-2 and 3 2m
Sentinel-2 10m
Landsat-8 30m


Depths are extracted using an attenuation coefficient algorithm that analyzes the light frequency within different parts of the spectral range of the satellite imagery. The workflow has been adapted for production use, and stream lined for commercial deployment.

Quality Control and Quality Assurance

As part of the development of the Satellite Derived Bathymetry product, quality control and quality assurance has been of critical importance to ensure consistency in data outputs. All satellite derived data is rigorously checked by TCarta′s team of hydrographic experts to ensure that specific data specifications are delivered. The WorldView-2 and WorldView-3 derived data is provided with the following specifications:

  • 2-meter pixel size on Sea floor;
  • 5-meter horizontal accuracy (CE90);
  • 10% depth of water column +/- 0.5m vertical accuracy (LE90) where conditions allow, with a maximum acceptable uncertainty of 20% depth of water column +/- 0.75m vertical accuracy (LE90);
  • 20-meter water depth penetration (where conditions allow);
  • ASCII x,y,z,u file deliverables (where u represents vertical uncertainty value);
  • GCS WGS 1984 coordinate reference system

Of particular importance is the delivery of a metric uncertainty value with every depth value. This uncertainty is calculated through a combination of water quality assessment (accounting for turbidity and other environmental factors), as well as tidal uncertainty.

Delivering a metric uncertainty value with every depth point allows end users to have a clear understanding of data limitations.