The bathymetry of the world’s coastal and inshore waters is constantly changing due to both man’s interference and natural changes. The former is the subject of frequent and detailed investigation, the latter is not. The detailed work of the International Hydrographic Organization shows that there are ‘Significant shortfalls in survey data’ and that there is little prospect of many countries addressing these shortfalls due to the high cost of conventional survey operations. The use of satellite derived bathymetry can potentially address both of these areas of interest, however, it has yet to be demonstrated how well it can meet user needs and consequently there is reticence in many sectors to commission satellite derived bathymetric data.
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